Stef Smits

More energy into water

More energy into water

Tomorrow is World Water Day, with the topic of “water and energy”. I see obvious issues coming by on the water-energy nexus (which by the way is one of those development sector buzz words that I start disliking more every day. I hope the next buzz word is a bit more, uh, sparkling), such as […]

Heading for the exit

Heading for the exit

Next week, the Dutch parliament will discuss the multi-annual collaboration plans for its bilateral development cooperation with some 15 partner countries. This could be a pretty dull and technical affair, were it not for the fact that these plans give an interesting insight into what the end of aid may look like. But, it also […]

Musings from Mopti

Originally posted on Rural Water Supply Network:
Well digging – Mali (RWSN/Skat) by Jonathan Annis, WASHPlus I’ve spent the last week in the Mopti Region of northern Mali supporting a USAID/WASHplus WASH & Nutrition initiative led by CARE. While behavior change communication related to household- and community-level sanitation, hygiene, and infant nutrition practices is the…

Where have all the committees gone?

Where have all the committees gone?

Mr Chary* is the secretary of one of the Gram Panchayats (lowest level of elected government in India) in the north eastern part of Tamil Nadu. Full of pride, he shows the pump house and the overhead tank, and explains the work of the operator who keeps the pump running, maintains the tank and chlorinates […]

Who serves the in-betweeners?

Who serves the in-betweeners?

By: Marieke Adank, IRC Small towns and peri-urban areas are by definition found in the grey area in between the truly urban and the truly rural. Also in terms of water supply, fifty shades of grey are found in these types of settlements. People living here often fall in between the cracks of urban utilities […]

Users perception of rural water services in Ghana: A case of satisfaction or dissatisfaction?

Users perception of rural water services in Ghana: A case of satisfaction or dissatisfaction?

By: Tyhra Kumasi, Senior Research Officer, Triple-S Ghana Dora is a 33 year old teacher living in Agbedrafo in the Akatsi South District. She depends on the only handpump in the community for her daily domestic chores; however she laments the difficulties in getting access to fetch water. According to Dora “even though fetching is on a […]

Tracking change and sharpening indicators

Tracking change and sharpening indicators

By: Marieke Adank, IRC Now almost 2 year ago, I was involved in an assessment of the state of water service provision in 3 districts in Ghana. This assessment was done in order to test draft service delivery indicators developed by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, in collaboration with IRC, under its Triple-S Project, […]

Insurance for rural water supplies – a good idea?

Insurance for rural water supplies – a good idea?

Email requests sometimes trigger the most interesting thoughts and ideas, particularly when there is no straightforward answer. Today, I received a question on whether at IRC we know of any experience with insurances for rural water supply. This question has reached us several times in the past year. Whereas my first answer to the question […]

The sponge

The sponge

Around the UN discussions on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, many NGOs advocated for the inclusion of WASH-related goals. A great set of materials is now available to see the sector’s collective proposal for these WASH goals. And I hope that these goals and targets make it into the final set. But inevitably, also much […]

Stockholm syndrome

Stockholm syndrome

For obvious reasons, Sweden and Stockholm have inspired several WASH bloggers this month, drawing analogies between the WASH sector and Swedish smörgåsbord and the Vasa ship. As a Stockholm resident, I can only be very satisfied with such inspiration. But, I must admit that initially I was not very inspired by this year’s World Water […]

Warning: danger zone ahead! Or not?

Warning: danger zone ahead! Or not?

In one of his previous blogs, Patrick Moriarty posed the concept of a danger zone, referring to the coverage level, at which countries that succeeded in raising first time coverage by constructing new infrastructure (capital investment) fail to maintain the infrastructure (due to lack of capital maintenance) or to operate it adequately to provide a […]

Not-so-limited mechanised boreholes

Not-so-limited mechanised boreholes

Elder Joe, whom you still may remember from a previous blog post, is the proud secretary of a water committee in the outskirts of Odumase town in Ghana. The committee looks after a handpump that was installed only last year. The committee is doing well. He shows us the booklet with the bank statements and […]

The caretaker always SMSes twice

The caretaker always SMSes twice

The costs of getting spare parts for handpumps can sometimes be higher than the costs of the spares themselves. Imagine a handpump where some of the nuts of bolts have worn out. These might cost a dollar at a spare part retail dealer; but the bus ticket to town might cost three dollars. That is […]

On strokes and leaks, or how to assess functionality and service levels of handpumps

On strokes and leaks, or how to assess functionality and service levels of handpumps

By: Marieke Adank, programme officer at IRC The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in Ghana is developing a framework for assessing and monitoring water services. In this, it will monitor the extent to which service levels are met, as well as the performance of water service providers and service authorities as per nationally set […]

Still or sparkling? Lessons from a WASH holiday

Still or sparkling? Lessons from a WASH holiday

I suspect that some of you, readers of this blog, are equal water nerds as I am, and that you also take your professional interest along on holiday. At least, I cannot resist visiting the odd water works or taking photographs of the local water and sanitation facilities during my holidays. This summer holiday I […]