Manually Drilled Wells: Providing water in Nigeria’s Megacity of Lagos and beyond


Manual drilling crew in action (photo: K. Danert, 2014)

by Dr Kerstin Danert, Skat Foundation

In Lagos, a city of over 17 million people, water demands are mainly being met from tapping the groundwater that lies beneath the city. Boreholes provide water directly at people’s homes or business premises. Borehole construction is being paid for by householders and businesses themselves. Water vendors, selling water in jerry cans or trucks are also prolific. Given the limited reach of the piped infrastructure, much of the water vended is likely to also originate from below ground. In fact, exploitation of the large, relatively shallow aquifers that lie below Lagos is one of the main reasons that the city can continue to grow at all.

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Resolution of Problems with Water Systems

RWSN Secretariat:

More good analysis:

Originally posted on Improve International:

By Susan M. Davis, Executive Director

Resolution is the process of addressing problems identified through monitoring and/or evaluation. The term reflects the concept that NGOs have responsibility to respond when finding water systems that are non-functional or need major repair. There is resounding agreement in the sector that rural communities in developing countries need some sort of support beyond installation of water infrastructure. A summary of key points is below. More information regarding typical failures, responsibilities, models, and costs will be presented in the “Resolution Action Report” being prepared by Improve International, as well as the WASH Advocates Monitoring, Evaluation, Resolution & Learning (MERL) portal (under development).

The problem

Average failures calculated from 125+ statistics

Average failures calculated from 125+ statistics

The overall global water point failure rate has hovered around 40% since the 1990s. Furthermore, many systems that are considered “functioning” are not providing safe water around the clock. This represents a vast waste of…

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4 lessons about handpump sustainability in Ghana

By Sara Marks, Senior Scientist at Sandec / Eawag


Water users in Ghana (photo: S. Marks)

In 2012 we learned the exciting news that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for drinking water access had been met, nearly 3 years ahead of schedule. Yet an important question still looms large: What will it take to ensure that those who have gained access continue to enjoy their water services well into the future? And how will sustainable water services be extended to the remaining unserved?

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Uganda: Kitgum Residents Share Water Points With Animals

RWSN Secretariat:

Interesting article in relation to recent RWSN discussions on Multiple Use Services (MUS) of water

Originally posted on WaterSan Perspective:

Dan Michael Komakech
June 23, 2014

Residents of Toboi in Lolwa parish Orom Sub County in Kitgum district have resorted to sharing contaminated rain runoff water that collects on rock inselbergs with animals due to scarce water points in the vicinity.

The resident explain that they survive on dirty unprotected water from Lela Toboi inselberg because of the far distance of over three to seven kilometers that one has to trek in search of clean drinking water in the neighboring villages of Wipolo and Tikau and Karekalet river spring.

The situation has rendered residents particularly the most vulnerable elderly, disability and children to opt for nothing other than runoff water from contaminated sources which makes them exposed to water borne diseases and death.

“If it rains we utilize rain runoff water that gathers on these inselberg and if it dries off we trek to Wipolo aor Tikau where we are…

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Global water point failure rates

Originally posted on Improve International:

This graph shows that the average global failure rate for water points in developing countries has varied over time, but the trend line shows failures have only slightly decreased from 1997 to 2013. These averages are based on summary data from 124 functionality studies around the world, and are not weighted by sample size because the number of water points wasn’t always  non functionality graph failures only mentioned. We continue to update our list of failure statistics here. Contact us if you would like the latest list of the studies used.

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Cautiously optimistic

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RWSN Secretariat:

More useful analysis from the Triple-S team

Originally posted on water services that last:

What will it take to create WASH sectors that work? 

By Patrick Moriarty, Harold Lockwood, and Sarah Carriger

Over the past few months in a series of posts we’ve been advocating for a change in the goal of the WASH sector – from increasing coverage to delivering a service over the long haul; from simply building infrastructure to building infrastructure and managing it into the future to provide services worthy of the name.

And we’ve been calling for a change in approach — from piecemeal projects to strengthening the whole system that delivers services.

We’ve shown how we’ve gone about supporting this type of change in Ghana together with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, and we’ll continue posting examples from other countries where we’re working.

For now, in the final post in this series, we’d like to talk more about what committing to this change calls for from…

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How much water is enough? Determining realistic water use in developing countries

RWSN Secretariat:

Excellent thoughts on water quantities – how much is enough?

Originally posted on Improve International:

By Susan Davis, Executive Director, Improve International

Water from a handpump in KenyaHow much water do you use every day? If you live in the US, you probably don’t think about it much, even if you pay for what you use.  Do you know how much water people in developing countries use?  A lot less than Americans, for sure.  But exactly how much turns out to be quite variable.

I thought it would be helpful to share the results of a desk review we did on water quantities measured or reported in developing countries.  The most comprehensive data referenced in studies comes from the Drawers of Water study (White, Bradley, & White, 1972), the first large-scale assessment of domestic water use in Africa, and Drawers of Water II (IIED et al, 1997); however, both are outdated and distinguish only between piped and unpiped water systems.

Not surprisingly, people are likely to use more…

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