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 first-come-first-serve basis, people bring very big receptacles and containers that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for others to get the opportunity to fetch. Because of this I am sometimes unable to fetch enough. In such a situation I borrow from a neighbour and replace later”. The problem with the borehole is that, after fetching the first few buckets it becomes difficult and hard to pump, one has to wait for a while, about 15 minutes to resume pumping for water. This is worse in the dry season, when she has to wake up approximately 3:00 am to queue for water. The Water Sanitation and Management Team (WSMT) in a frantic attempt to address this problem introduced the coupon system of fetching on a first come first serve basis; a system of rationing water using coupons. Water users who wish to fetch water collect daily coupons from WSMT and each person is given a coupon to fetch. The coupon has a serial number which also serves as the queuing position. Each coupon cost GHC10p and entitles the user to only a basin of water at a time. Clearly, Dora is not very satisfied with the service she gets; but she may be satisfied with how the WSMT is at least trying to address the situation
Even though we have quite a bit of insight into actual service levels in Ghana, relatively little is known regarding users’ contentment with rural drinking water. In light with this observation Triple-S Ghana in collaboration with Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) undertook a user satisfaction survey, to complement monitoring data on functionality, service levels and service provider performance. A total of 1162 households in Akatsi, Sunyani West and East Gonja were interviewed on seasonality and water use, satisfaction with the level of services received, and perception on performance of service providers. This blog highlights the key findings on rural household water users’ satisfaction.
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- By Martin Watsisi, Regional Learning Facilitator, Triple-S Uganda.
In Uganda, as in many places, community water management has not worked very well. By and large, water user committees don’t have the requisite authority to collect fees or the necessary technical skills to ensure proper operations, maintenance and repairs. And District Water Officers, ostensibly responsible for backstopping the committees, don’t have the reach to provide effective support.
In 2011, Triple-S with district government partners began looking at Sub County Water Supply and Sanitation Boards (SWSSB) as a possible means of improving community water management. The model was inspired by the water supply and sanitation boards that manage piped water systems in small towns and rural growth centres of the country. Testing began in Kabarole and Lira districts. In each of these districts at least four SWSSBs were formed by the sub county authorities.
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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, as part of the development of a framework for monitoring water services in Ghana. In line with what we expected, and in line with international experiences, about a third of handpumps were found to be not functional. Looking beyond functionality however, we found that shockingly few systems provided a basic level of service, in terms of quality, quantity, accessibility and reliability of services, as per the norms and standards set for rural water supply in Ghana. In the beginning of 2013, the second round of water service monitoring was done in the three districts, in order to see whether changes had occurred since the baseline assessment, and in order to further refine the indicators and data collection methods. This blog presents some of the main (preliminary) findings of this second round of service monitoring, particularly focusing on handpumps. Continue Reading »
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 was “No”, now a clearer “no, but… maybe” answer starts to emerge. Encouraged by my colleague Catarina Fonseca, I decided to post this emerging answer in a blog. Continue Reading »
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 advocacy was done to increase funding for the WASH sector. I always get a bit mixed feelings when I see such advocacy. Continue Reading »
This is a guest post from Duncan McNicholl and Alyssa Lindsay who lead the Water and Sanitation Programme of Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) in Malawi. For more on their work please see the recent case study by Triple-S available here.
Mr. Oswald Nkhuwa is the District Water Development Officer for Nkhotakota District in the small and densely populated Southern African country of Malawi. His District is home to over 300,000 people that live within the 7500 km2 District that stretches out along the pristine lakeshore of Lake Malawi. To serve this population and manage approximately 2500 water points, his office has two other field extension staff and a monthly budget of approximately USD$200. Most would balk at the apparent impossibility of the task – and understandably so. Continue Reading »
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 Week in Stockholm; looking at the programme, I felt it would be an event with the same speakers, talking about the same topics, and with the same participants as in previous years. Still, I didn’t want to miss out on any of the discussions, in case exciting new developments would be presented. Was I also trapped in the WASH sector’s syndrome of actually enjoying the Stockholm Water Week (or other global conferences for that matter) whilst knowing they keep us hostage for the better part of August and rarely deliver tangible results? Though it would be too easy to hold a rant about global water conferences, I readily admit I was completely wrong in my existentialist angst about their added value. Conferences are not there to achieve progress, but to showcase the results of what has been achieved in between two events. And this year’s water week made me realise that progress is being made in breaking out of several paradigms that has held the rural water sector at ransom for so long. Continue Reading »