Sometimes fairy tales lead to nightmares

Featured Image -- 1107

Originally posted on Improve International:

By Susan Davis, Executive Director

Last week, at a conference organized by college students, I spoke about lessons learned in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). One of the key points was that “it’s not about the project.”  The WASH sector is plagued by fragmented approaches and one-off projects. Small projects don’t have much of a chance of achieving systemic change, even at the community level. Yet many groups treat water projects like romantic movies – replacing the wedding with the ribbon cutting or photo shoot for the water point at the end of the project.  The caption under the photograph of the cute kids drinking clean water might as well say: “And then they lived happily ever after.”

happily ever afterBut still high percentages of water systems fail, latrine pits fill up or aren’t used at all, and very few people continue to wash their hands regularly after the program…

View original 317 more words

Roll out of technology applicability tool in Tanzania to assure sustainable WASH services

TAF in Tanzania

Lack of proper operation and maintenance (O&M), lack of participatory planning procedures, lack of flexibility to apply different management models for water supplies and inappropriate technology choices are among key issues identified which hindered sustainable WASH services during the Water Sanitation Development Plan (WSDP) Tanzania. The results of the national water point mapping clearly highlights the fact that more than 30% of all water points are not working.

To overcome these issues the leading Ministry of Water (MoW) in Tanzania included various measures in the design of the 2nd phase of the WSDP.

Continue reading

How to make Self–supply more tangible?

Self-supply Trade Fair, Addis Ababa (March 2015) A. Olschewski/Skat
Self-supply Trade Fair, Addis Ababa (March 2015) A. Olschewski/Skat
rope pump demo

Rope pump demonstration (A. Olschewski/Skat)

As part of the celebration of the World Water Day 2015 the rural water sector in Ethiopia organized a 3-day event on Self-supply (19th – 21st March) including a trade fair for producers of Self-supply technology and a 2-day seminar with inputs from international and national speakers. The fair hosted more than 20 local suppliers and producers which allowed potential clients to check technologies in detail, to speak to suppliers and compare products for e.g. water lifting, drilling, water treatment.

Suppliers were invited to to market themselves by giving a 3-minutes pitch to the public. A panel of experts gave feedback so that the brave pitchers could improve on their promotion in the future.

In the international seminar on 20th March, experiences from other countries on accelerating Self-supply were shared as well as the information on steps taken so far to roll out Self-supply in Ethiopia including linkages to small scale agriculture and the multiple use concept.

WHO presented results from various studies on water quality analysis of samples from improved and unimproved sources.It became obvious that the concept of improved/unimproved sources is not good for indicator of safe water supply. This perception was so far one of the key challenges addressed to accept Self-supply.

In the future WHO recommends enforcing its concept of Water Safety Plans and clearly promoted household water treatment for any water used for drinking water in rural areas. The Ethiopian water sector will develop ideas on how to establish and follow up water safety plans in Ethiopia which fit to the Self-supply context.

To attract more people similar fairs are planned for other towns in Ethiopia in the near future.

All slides of the international seminar on Self–supply (20th March) and some photos of the fair will be uploaded on the RWSN website.

My Water, My Business

Self-supply Ethiopia
activities as part of World Water Day 2015 events, 19-20 March 2015, Addis Ababa

Sustainable development of water requires fresh thinking and new innovation. Ethiopia is pioneering new approaches in water, sanitation and hygiene (WasH) that draw upon the resources of local people, communities and entrepreneurs to further improve water security, food security and wealth. ‘My Water, My Business’ is a series of linked events organised as part of the 2015 World Water Day celebrations to bring attention to these household-level efforts. The events will connect sector policy-makers, development partners, professionals and engaged local governments and communities. The overall message is that to complement the efforts of utilities, woredas and other traditional service providers, households can do a lot themselves to improve their water and sanitation facilities and related hygiene practices. You can improve your own water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

WaSH product fair starts Thursday 19 March

Continue reading

Do we need better handpump standards, or better organizational performance standards?

Originally posted on Improve International:

By Susan Davis, Executive Director

A handpump in Ethiopia A handpump in Ethiopia

Our friends at the Rural Water Supply Network recently published an overview on pump standardization (pdf). Twenty out of the 35 sub-Saharan African countries don’t have formal pump standardization policies. Read about why this can be a problem and my thoughts on standards in this article by Rob Goodier at Engineering for Change.

What do you think? Do technology standards lead to improved water services or squash innovation?

View original

RWSN Events, Resources and Member News – March

MEMBER NOTICE BOARD

RWSN Member and Member Organisation news, jobs, surveys & requests of for help

Please note that RWSN Secretariat passes on requests for help community organisations and local NGOs in good faith but we don’t have to do thorough background checks. It is our intention is that the valid grassroots organisations can be connected with RWSN members from implementation or donor organisations that can help.

Hope For The Needy: Boreholes needed

Hope for the Needy is a Non-governmental organization located at Parkoso in the Asokore Mampong Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana West Africa. The foundation is dedicated to the total welfare, healthy growth and development of the vulnerable in both rural and urban areas. Hope For The Needy is looking for support to install borehole water supplies to help them reach out to the needy people at the deprived areas where there are is no accessible, safe water source. They have identified the villages of Akokaso, Adebra, Emabeng, Nkokboem, Nnama, Atwemabeng, and Wonoo village as having no boreholes. If you are able to assist, please contact Muftawu Mohammed (CEO): hopefortheneedy765 @yahoo.com

AWDROP: WATER-TECH NIGERIA Event

Venue: Abuja International Conference Centre

Date:  18-21 October 2015

Topic: Challenges of Africa Water Sector meeting Sustainable Development Goals

Organiser:  Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP)

e.mail: awdrop @yahoo.org

website: www.awdrop.org

MSABI: Nestle Creating Shared Value Runner-up Prize

The award was announced in Vevey, Switzerland on November 10th 2014.  Three organisations were selected from 759 entries from 93 countries.  MSABI was recognized for their innovative Pump for Life micro-insurance maintenance business model.  For more information visit the MSABI website www.msabi.org.

Skat/WaterAid/Waterlines: Writing for WASH courses

In the run-up to the planned 7th RWSN Forum in late 2016, we are looking to organise more RWSN “Writing for WASH” courses. The format is flexible and can be run over 2 or 3 days. Since 2012, Skat and WaterAid have run courses in London, Kampala, Dar Es Salaam, Monrovia, Madagascar, Bangladesh and Kiev. We are looking for host organisations, so if you would be interested in developing the writing and presentation skills of your staff or partners then please contact the RWSN Secretariat (sean.furey @ skat.ch)

EVENTS

7th RWSN Forum, late 2016

In the January meeting of the RWSN Executive Committee, it was agreed to proceed with organising a 7th RWSN Forum for late 2016.  The location is likely to be Francophone West Africa, but details are being developed by task group over the coming months in collaboration with country partners. More details will announced later in 2015.

You can find out about previous RWSN Forums in on the RWSN Story web page and on the website for the 6th RWSN Forum in Kampala, 2011.

If any organisation would be interested being a sponsor for the event, please contact the RWSN Secretariat (kerstin.danert @skat.ch).

Stockholm World Water Week, 23-29 August 2015

RWSN is planning to have an exhibition stand at this year’s Stockholm WWW to promote the importance of achieving universal rural access to water in the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals.  More details will be shared in the next newsletter.

WEDC Conference 2015

The 38th WEDC International Conference will be held on 27–31 July 2015, Loughborough University, UK. The deadline for abstracts has now passed, but registration details will be posted soon.  RWSN is likely to have a strong presence at the event again this year.

MUS Group: Save the date – 30/31st March 2015

The Multiple Use of water Services (MUS) Group will be holding its next meeting on 30/31st March 2015. Full details will be circulated via the MUS Dgroup community shortly. Please join the group if you are interested in how to meet rural user needs for domestic and agricultural water.

UNC Water & Health Conference, 26-30th October, 2015

UNC are accepting abstracts and side event proposals for the 2015 Water & Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy. The deadline for proposal submissions is April 24. Abstracts and side event proposals should relate to one of this year’s themes:

  • WaSH for the future: SDGs, innovation, resources, integration, and urbanization
  • Hygiene and behavior
  • WaSH in emergencies and outbreaks
  • Learning from practice: MEL, action research, case studies
  • Water supply and quality
  • Sanitation: Protecting households, communities, and environment

Other events

Events in Red are those where RWSN is likely to be represented by one or more RWSN Executive Steering Committee partners. More details will be provided in upcoming newsletters and Dgroups announcements.

RWSN ONLINE

RWSN in numbers

RWSN membership has reached 6,925 people from 142 countries  LinkedIn group membership is up to 2,014 and we even have 206 likes on the RWSN Facebook page.  At the beginning of 2012 there were around 1,500 members, so thank you to all for your continued support and commitment to improving rural water supply services.

Recent RWSN/UPGro blog posts:

NEW PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES

Development Banks & UN Organisations

NGOs, Networks and others

Bi-lateral Development Partners

Software

  • The HydroOffice software package focus to the field of hydrology, hydrogeology, meteorology and environmental engineering. Most of the tools are distributed as freeware and only a selected are charged. However, the user can use only free or demo tools without any restrictions.
  • The Water Project Toolkit application (WPT App) provides guidance and information on best practices for implementing water and sanitation projects in the developing world. The WPT App gives access to the analytical tools necessary to evaluate the specific context, issues and needs in your project area, as well as operational checklists to guide you throughout the project lifecycle.

Academic & Journals

Note that access to many papers is restricted and has to be purchased. Some are open access so that articles are free to download:

RWSN Programme News – March 2015

UPGro – Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor

UPGro – Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor

Knowledge Brokers: Sean Furey, Kerstin Danert, Richard Carter, Bertha Camacho

UPGro – Unlocking the Potential for Groundwater for the Poor is seven year research programme that takes a social and natural science approach to enabling sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor. During 2013-14 there were 15 ‘Catalyst’ projects that are one year studies. This year a five ‘Consortium’ projects will get underway for the following 4-5 years. UPGro is funded by the United Kingdom through the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID).

What happens when the wells run dry?

In the science journal, Nature, Professor Richard Taylor of the GroFutures UPGro project challenged readers to take groundwater depletion seriously put the case for why we need better science to understand complex recharge processes – before it is too late. His words echo that the World Economic Forum who place the Water Crisis as the number one risk, in terms of impact, facing the world today, and one of the most likely to occur.

Analysing groundwater storage changes in Benin & Burkina Faso

The Chronicles Consortium – a network of scientists collating and analysing multi-decadal groundwater-level records from across Africa under UPGro Groundwater Atlas with support from IRD – held a 3-day workshop from the 9th to 11th of February at the Laboratory of Applied Hydrology of the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) to examine long-term records of groundwater levels in Benin & Burkina Faso. Led by Professor Richard Taylor (UCL), Professor Moussa Boukari (University of Abomey-Calavi) and Dr. Jean-Michel Vouillamoz (IRD), participants included scientists from Burkina Faso (Dr. Youssouf Koussoubé, University of Ouagadougou) and Benin (Dr. Henri Totin, University of Parakou) as well as post-graduate students from the University of Abomey-Calavi.

The workshop focused on the use of long-term groundwater-level records (chronicles) to assess the responses of groundwater systems to climate variability and human activity (e.g. abstraction, land-use change, dam construction) in different aquifer environments and climate regimes. Key activities of the workshop included: (i) installation of automated water and air pressure dataloggers to enable high-frequency monitoring of groundwater storage responses, (ii) the evaluation of errors in long-term chronicles, and (iii) quantification of groundwater storage and discharge from recessionary trends in these chronicles. The chronicles provided excellent foci for critical discussion of current conceptual models of the operation of groundwater systems in Benin and Burkina Faso. Dr. Vouillamoz also presented new field determinations of groundwater storage co-efficients from the EU-GRIBA project to enable the quantification of groundwater storage changes from the chronicles.  The Chronicles Consortium plans to report on new evidence from collated long-term records and high-frequency monitoring at the 41st IAH Congress in Rome.

UPGro invited by UNICEF to present at the UN Zaragoza Conference

The UN-Water Annual Zaragoza Conferences serve UN-Water to prepare for World Water Day, which in 2015 will focus on “water and sustainable development” and celebrated the end of the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’, so it was especially important for taking stock of and learning from achievements as well as planning the next steps. In the theme “Academia contribution to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals related to water” on the 16th January, the was a session titled “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Tools for WASH implementation from an equity lens”, led by Jose Gesti-Canuto, with short presentations by three UPGro collaborators: John Chilton (IAH, Hidden Crisis), Sharon Velasquez-Orta (University of Newcastle, IN-GROUND) and Fabio Fussi (University of Milano-Bicocca, Remote Sensing for Manual Drilling)

Read more and find the presentations on the UPGro website

ODI event in London stirs up the groundwater debate

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) hosted a 1-day event, just as the last RWSN newsletter was going to press. The day was packed with great presentations and discussion, not just from the UPGro researchers also much wider sharing about the role of groundwater science and knowledge management in tackling deeply ingrained poverty. Video recordings of the event are now available online on the ODI website.

New UPGro Publications

Publications, reports, papers and presentations from the UPGro studies can be found on the upgro.org website.

RAIN – Rainwater harvesting for rural water supply and food security

Co-ordinators: Robert Meerman (meerman @ rainfoundation.org), Hans Merton (hans @ merton.nl). Join the rainwater harvesting community on Dgroups: dgroups.org/rwsn/rainwater  and follow on twitter at @rainwater4food.

Event: Symposium on Rainwater Harvesting in Ethiopia

RAIN are proud to inform you that in collaboration with SEARNET and AFRHINET, we will organise an international symposium on: ‘Unlocking the potential of rainwater with adaptive strategies and impacts for upscaling the technology’

1-12 June 2015 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

In this symposium rainwater harvesting (RWH) will be assessed from three angles: Policy, Know-how and Training. The Policy angle will engage stakeholders from governments and INGOs and discuss how to incorporate RWH in policy frameworks, projects and programmes. The Know-how angle will gather academics and practitioners in writing about their projects and research. Finally, a practical training will take place most probably in the Dire Dawa area, which will focus on practicalities and discussions on various RWH/3R technologies.

Dates

High Level Policy Discussions: 1st – 2nd June 2015

Write-shop: 3rd – 5th June 2015

Practical Training: 8th – 12th June 2015

Information and registration

More information and details will come soon – but please find the first announcement here. We are looking forward to seeing you there – registration is now open!

Implementation: RAIN is expanding to Latin America

The ‘dry corridor’, that covers most of Honduras’ southern region, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Small-scale farmer families of the region depend on the availability of natural resources. However, they are the ones mostly affected by prolonged dry spells and water scarcity. This leads to a progressive increase in both the severity and the number of families affected by food insecurity. Remedy for these areas often stagnates, due to Honduras’ weak institutional structure, an elevated poverty rate and a high-risk security situation.
The Program for Communal Watershed Management of the Goascoran catchment (‘Programa de Gestion Comunitaria de Cuenca – PGCC’) seeks to alleviate this situation with:

  • Adequate Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction measures and
  • Strengthening local governance structures for integrated catchment management.

The Swiss development Cooperation (SDC) chose a Consortium, comprised of IUCN, iDE, FUNDER and RAIN to act as a Facilitator in this change-process. The Goal is to empower communities to face more extreme weather conditions by improved resilience to climate change and better living conditions of the inhabitants of the Goascoran basin. This will be achieved through enhanced production capacities: introducing effective irrigation schemes, water harvesting techniques and better market access, for an institutionally backed sustainable use of natural resources. RAIN will provide monitoring and evaluation of the project, knowledge management and communication and technical advice on 3R (water recharge, retention, reuse) and MUS.
You can read more on “Crop and income diversification via rainwater reservoirs and drip irrigation and for smallholder farmers in Honduras” in Marai El Fassi’s blog.

Implementation: 3R – Recharge, Retention and Re-use

WUMP+3R, Nepal

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal, co-funded by RAIN, is implementing a program on the so-called WUMP (Water Use Master Plan) and 3R (Recharge, Retention and Re-use) in several villages in Dailekh district. The multiple year program includes the development and implementation of local water management plans including WASH, which are developed in close collaboration with the local government and communities. Due to the efforts of HELVETAS, Dullu was declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) on December 31 2014. For more information, please read the project update here. Another project update of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Nepal of the project in Paduka can be found here.

3R in Bahasa, Indonesia

Timor Tengah Selatan, on the island of Timor is one of the most water stressed areas of the Indonesia.  On the 3rd November 2014 in So’e, 60 people gathered at the government office to discuss the need for Recharge (Mengisi Kembali), Retention (Penyimpanan) and Re use (Penggunaann Kembali) of water. Maarten Onneweer of RAIN presented the results of a project implemented earlier that year by Bina Swadaya Konsultans and used this as example on how to integrate 3R in the projects of the Partners for Resilience Alliance in Indonesia.
Bina Swadaya Konsultans implemented a number of cost effective water harvesting technologies, adapted to the local situation and making use of locally available materials. These interventions followed from an earlier advisory mission of RAIN end of 2013. Results could already be seen and the overall enthusiasm for 3R had definitely increased. Organisations are now translating relevant parts of the book “Water harvesting, guidelines to good practices” in Bahasa to support their technical staff. You can read the full news item here.

Publications

Rainwater Harvesting: harnessing the storm Briefing Note on the RAIN-RWSN webinar series 2014 (S. Furey, 2014)