E-DISCUSSION ANNOUNCEMENT: Local government and rural water services

local government e-discussion - flyer

Les autorités locales et la pérennisation des services d’eau en zones rurales

El gobierno local y los servicios sostenibles de agua en zonas rurales

Sign up now: dgroups.org/RWSN/sustainable_services_rwsn

The Rural Water Supply Network would like to invite you to participate in the E-discussion (27 April – 22 May 2015)

• What are the roles and responsibilities of local government in rural water supply?
• How are these roles and responsibilities fulfilled?
• What are the challenges that local government faces in order to undertake these roles and responsibilities?
• What ideas, tools and experiences are there to ensure that local government can take up its roles and responsibilities?
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Summary of RWSN D-groups discussion on resolution

Originally posted on Improve International:

By Susan Davis, Executive Director

Resolution coverFor two weeks in March, our friends at the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) let me lead a discussion on resolution of problems with water systems through the Sustainable Services D-group. Resolutionis the process of addressing problems identified through monitoring and/or evaluation. It goes by many names, and is sometimes part of post-construction support.

I appreciate those who contributed to the discussion: organizations working in Chad, Congo, Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda. Following is a summary of responses to some questions I posed.

Q1. Has your organization ever conducted post-implementation (post-project) monitoring?

This question was a bit tricky because the responding organizations support monitoring at a district or national level, or they monitor water points that they didn’t necessarily help to build or repair. This is a good reminder that not everyone is simply building hardware. However, all of the responding groups monitor water management…

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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…

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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.

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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

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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?

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