Post-construction support

India rural water supply: an orphan of reforms?

India rural water supply: an orphan of reforms?

By V. Kurian Baby, India Country Director, IRC Community rural water supply (RWS) in India is an orphan of partially implemented demand responsive sector reforms on the one hand and unsuccessful decentralisation on the other. Historically, rural water supply in India has been outside the sphere of governments (NRDWP 2013). The 73rd and 74th constitutional […]

Sub County Water and Sanitation Boards could help fix community management in Uganda but only with proper support

Sub County Water and Sanitation Boards could help fix community management in Uganda but only with proper support

- 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 […]

Putting low resources to work for rural O&M

Putting low resources to work for rural O&M

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Team GB puts ‘sports policy’ into practice, but can DfID ‘team WASH’ do the same?

Team GB puts ‘sports policy’ into practice, but can DfID ‘team WASH’ do the same?

By Harold Lockwood We all know how successful team GB was at the London Olympics with 29 golds and 65 medals overall (London medals). This was a fantastic achievement and the result of years of preparation and putting into practice a comprehensive sports policy for the UK. It wasn’t just investment in the athlete or […]

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 […]

Overcoming the danger zone

On April 20, Ministers of Water and Sanitation from around the world will meet with their Ministers of Finance in Washington D.C. as part of the Sanitation and Water (SWA) for All High Level Meeting. There, they will discuss sector goals and progress, and it goes without saying that the recent announcement that the Millennium […]

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, […]

Indian district sets up rural water supply service network

The district council (Zilla Panchayat) of Shimoga  in Karnataka has established a rural water supply service network with ” round-the-clock” control rooms at district and sub-district (taluk)  levels, the Hindu newspaper reported. Priority would be given to maintaining cleanliness around the drinking water supply units in rural areas. Officials had been directed to repair borewells. The sub-district control […]

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 […]

Water and sanitation: priceless but not costless

“We just take the programmes as they fall upon us, with their conditions. One donor uses a per capita threshold of 150 US$/capita and wants us to follow one approach, and we will do that. Another uses a threshold of 250 US$/day, but with another approach, and a different degree of community contribution to capital […]