By Patrick Moriarty, Harold Lockwood, Vida Duti and Sarah Carriger
In the last post in this series we described our approach to changing the whole system to deliver water services that people can count on: not just for a few years, but for life. We laid out the main phases in this change: initiation, learning and testing, and finally scaling-up and systemic impact. In this post we’d like to show you what that looks in the real world, using the example of our work in Ghana under the Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale) project.
One of the reasons we chose to work in Ghana was that it was typical of many countries: they’d made significant progress in increasing coverage, but they had significant problems, particularly in their rural water sector, with lack of financing for repairs and replacements, weak supply chains for spare parts, and poor support from local government…
Last week I was in Timor Leste supporting some of the work of WaterAid Australia and its programme in Timor Leste. As this has evolved over the last several years, and with coverage levels increasing, WaterAid Timor-Leste (WATL) has recognised the pressing challenge of maintaining service levels in those communities who have gained first time access to water supply. The Government of Timor-Leste has pledged to meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to provide 78% of the population with access to a safe water supply by 2015 (75% of the rural population and 86% of the urban population). The JMP update for 2013 records access in 2011 to an improved water source as 69%: 60% rural and 93% urban. As of 2013 steady progress is being made and it has been determined that the MDG for water supply will be met.
ABSTRACT This study compared the occurrence of skeletal fluorosis in chronic consumers of locally brewed alcoholic beverages and their matched controls in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. The study revealed that chronic alcohol consumers developed severe forms of crippling skeletal fluorosis quite early in life. The controls were either symptom-free or exhibited mild forms of the fluorosis. The study showed that crippling skeletal fluorosis was directly associated with the large volumes of the locally brewed beer and honey-mead consumption on a daily basis. Chemical analysis of the alcoholic beverages showed that high concentration of fluoride which was much higher than the fluoride in the water was used for the brewing process. From this study one would conclude that in communities residing in high fluoride areas, there should be awareness creation campaigns to point out the relationship of excessive consumption of locally brewed alcoholic drinks and skeletal fluorosis. Regulations should also be put in place to require producers of local alcoholic beverages to use low fluoride water for brewing.
I’ve spent the last week in the Mopti Region of northern Mali supporting a USAID/WASHplus WASH & Nutrition initiative led by CARE. While behavior change communication related to household- and community-level sanitation, hygiene, and infant nutrition practices is the primary focus of the project, a small sum of funds is dedicated to rehabilitating community water supplies.
The conditions in Mali, as in much of the Sahel, have attracted a plethora of international NGOs, foundations, and do-gooders of every size and intention; increasing access to safe water is a focal point of many of their interventions. The functionality of rural water supplies in Mopti is difficult to ascertain. A number of my colleagues agree that the database of water points maintained by the regional office of the Ministry of Water includes less than 50 percent of the water points existing in the countryside.
In the first post in this series, we explained why we believe that a paradigm shift is needed in the WASH sector: moving beyond the construction of physical hardware to the universal provision of safe drinking water (and sanitation) services worthy of the name.
Because of the number of activities and actors involved, water and sanitation service delivery is inherently complex. And as much as we may be drawn to the idea of straightforward technological or market-based solutions, this complexity means such solutions will never get us all the way to sustainable services for everyone – particularly for the poorest people in the hardest to reach and most remote areas.
It is not enough that one individual or organisation begins to perform better or that an improvement is made in some technical aspect of service delivery. The whole system of individuals, organisations, technologies and…