Blog on Self-supply by André Olschewski, Skat Foundation
Self-supply are incremental improvements to access and water quality which are financed by own investments. The Self-supply approach and many more interesting topics have been presented and discussed at WEDC Conference 2015 which took place last week in Loughborough, UK.
Apparently people’s needs and aspirations related to water supply and sanitation and hygiene (WASH) do not always match with the level of service provided by interventions of WASH programmes or to put it differently WASH programmes are not always designed and implemented in a way that they satisfy people needs and aspirations.
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.
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.