Latin America

Error 503: Service not available

Error 503: Service not available

By: Andrés Gil, IRC, Honduras As I was doing my interview with the technician of the Municipal Environment Unit, I encountered already the first limitation: “Error 503: Service not available”; internet was so slow in this municipality that it was practically not available. And this while we were talking about the implementation of the new […]

Paris, s’éveille – waking up to the Paris Declaration

Paris, s’éveille – waking up to the Paris Declaration

“Paris, s’éveille” (Paris wakes up), sang Jacques Dutronc, observing how the mess of the night is cleaned away, making place for the buzz of another day of work. Likewise, the WASH sector is waking up to the Paris Declaration, cleaning up the mess of often uncoordinated aid efforts. This declaration laid out the principles for […]

“We ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”

“We ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”

“Comimos toda la carne; sólo nos quedan los huesos” (we ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”, said Luis Romero of CONASA (the water and sanitation policy making body in Honduras), in response to the graphs below, when we presented these as part of the sharing of the results of […]

A bit short of a miracle …

A bit short of a miracle …

By Patrick Moriarty and John Sauer What is it that IADB’s Max Valasquez Matute in Honduras finds ‘only a bit short of a miracle’?  The decision by seven INGOs to align their programming in Honduras in support of an Everyone Forever movement aimed at delivering full coverage in sustainable rural water, sanitation and hygiene services. […]

Sustainability checks, clauses and compacts – USAID and DGIS lead the way

Sustainability checks, clauses and compacts – USAID and DGIS lead the way

By Stef Smits Over the past year, there has been quite a bit of buzz in the WASH sector on the sustainability clause  that DGIS seeks to include in its contacts with implementers. The pros and cons of this have been widely debated . A key component of the clauses is to have sustainability checks […]

Everyone? Yes, everyone!

Everyone? Yes, everyone!

Anyone who works in the water sector cannot have missed the various consultations and debates on the post-2015 goals for water and sanitation, with the official one taking place here, but also good online discussions, such as the one on The Broker online. At the same time, technical proposals have been developed by working groups […]

Colombia: delegation of WASH project approval to certified utilities

The Acueducto Metropolitano de Bucaramanga (AMB) is now the 5th certified public water utility sanctioned by the Colombian government to approve water and sanitation projects. In a press release the  housing, cities and land ministry (MVCT) said new legislation approved in 2012 had made this delegation of powers to municipal water utilities possible. The ministry said […]

Apples and oranges: a comparative assessment in WASH

Apples and oranges: a comparative assessment in WASH

A few weeks ago, an interesting email discussion was held on “water point mapping” D-Group of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). Part of the discussion focused on how much it costs to map or monitor all water systems in a country. Various figures were floating around in the discussion. But when looking at these […]

What does it take to sustain sustainability?

What does it take to sustain sustainability?

As argued several times in this blog, post-construction support is one of the keys to sustainability of rural water supplies. One element of post-construction support is monitoring of aspects such as service levels and the performance of service providers, through which the support providers can better target their assistance. The last few years have seen […]

It’s fun to work with the L C C A

It’s fun to work with the L C C A

I have written before about our work on life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) in Honduras. The idea is to look into the real costs of investment programmes and projects in Honduras, so see which intervention model is the most cost-effective. The reason for that is that within the sector, and sometimes even within an institution, various […]

The water sector’s Orpheus complex – and what it costs

The water sector’s Orpheus complex – and what it costs

Just as Orpheus descended into the underworld to bring his wife Eurydice back to life, the water sector invests heavily in bringing broken-down water supply systems back into function; often to find those same systems slipping back into disuse, as soon as the engineers turn their head to look away from the system they just […]

A day in the life of… a circuit rider

A day in the life of… a circuit rider

José Miguel is a circuit rider: a technician responsible for providing technical assistance to a number of water committees in his area around San Vicente in El Salvador. There are around 30 water systems on his circuit which he visits regularly. This week I had the pleasure to accompany him on part of his route, […]

Chicken or egg?

Chicken or egg?

January is MUS month. After the meeting in New York, I reported on in my previous blog post, last week saw the regular MUS Group meeting, hosted this time by Winrock International. The group of organisations working on multiple-use of water has over time been able to find evidence for various hypotheses made when we […]

“Does help help?” is the wrong question

In this blog, I have argued at times for the need for post-construction support to rural water supply, and so have various publications of IRC and others over the past decade. However, there has been critique to this, stating that there is little evidence that shows that such help helps improving rural water supply. And […]

Everyone, Forever?

This video tells the story of the approach of Everyone, Forever, followed by Water For People in the municipality in Chinda, Honduras. Water For People has tried to achieve 100% coverage in rural WASH in this municipality, and to set up institutional capacity to maintain that coverage. A few weeks ago, I carried out an […]