Stop the Rot – Stakeholder perspectives on handpump corrosion and quality – Part 2

A summary of the second part of the RWSN webinar (April 2022)

The findings of the ‘Stop the Rot’ study on handpump* corrosion and component quality was presented at an RWSN webinar in April 2022, attended by 135 people from over 60 countries. What were the reactions of those that attended the webinar and what is next?

In this second blogs of the series, I try to summarise the perspectives shared by the audience as well as the questions and responses. In case you would like to read a summary of what the discussants said, click here.

Groundwater mapping
In the webinar chat, it was noted that that mapping pH levels, and thus identifying areas where pH levels are lower than 6.5 and at risk of causing rapid corrosion of galvanised iron (GI) materials would be a good starting point. Solutions for such areas are needed, whatever the pH level, as all people need access to suitable drinking water service.

Alternatives to GI riser pipes
In cases where the water depth is less than 45 meters, the Afridev, which uses PVC rather than GI offers an alternative pump to the India Mark pumps. However, for countries that have locked themselves in to an India Mark II/III pump, it is a big issue to move to using an Afridev. However, it may be a viable option, despite the need to retrain handpump mechanics and communities as well as ensure the supply of different spare parts.

Practical solutions to avoid using galvanised iron (GI) riser pipes on India Mark pumps put forward include the use of uPVC riser with stainless steel couplers, or stainless steel riser pipes with stainless steel couplers. The fully stainless steel option is being promoted in Uganda. At depths greater than 45 meters, it is also worth considering solar pumping options, with use of PVC, or stainless steel riser pipes.

Suppliers attending the webinar pointed out that the above mentioned components could be availed in both Zambia and Uganda. However, the grade of stainless steel is also important, with one supplier stating that “Stainless Steel Riser Pipes should be of AISI 304 grade if you want to control the corrosion. Nowadays for cost cutting Stainless Steel AISI 201 or 202 grades Riser Pipes are used in most of the countries”. Good quality stainless steel does not corrode as rapidly as galvanised iron, but the quality of stainless steel varies, as does the quality of galvanisation. While there are countries where replacing GI with stainless steel has been successful, this does come at a cost. And, whatever the material, quality assurance is required.

One participant explained that after ten years of experiencing the same issue with corrosion, their organisation switched to using PVC pipes. Other organisations are also opting for PVC. However, as Stop the Rot reports point out, these options are not specified in the current international standards or in specifications issued by the Indian Bureau of Standards. There is need for alignment, and the specifications should provide alternatives that have been adequately tested.

Efforts to prevent corrosion
Change takes a long time, but UNICEF has taken steps to prevent rapid handpump corrosion, and international procurement from India by no longer procuring GI components. While there could still be some cases where there is local procurement of GI with partners, UNICEF is trying to stop that too. Further, galvanised iron is no longer in the UNICEF supply catalogue.

The need for the donor community to better understand costs
The call by Ron Sloots for a stronger involvement and larger responsibility of the donor community to address the issues raised by Stop the Rot was supported by several people in the webinar chat. One participant noted that there is more emphasis on infrastructure cost rather than service costs, and called for a paradigm shift to service provision and sustainability. Another participant shared the link to a recent publication: Donor’s Guide to Rural Water Service Delivery. A participant from Rotary, which works in multiple countries, informed the group that they are focusing on Life Cycle costs, not just implementation costs, which allows higher cost for quality materials and capacity development to offset the cost of ongoing operations and repair over the life of a well point or water distribution system.

One participant stated very clearly, “the new dawn government wants lowered costs, how can we specify stainless steel couplers which will turn out to be higher than the usual GI pipes. Many of our decision makers do not fully understand the problems in the rural area. How can this be addressed to stop the rot of corrosion?” This is a key issue, as highlighted by Ron Sloots. Decision makers need to fully understand the true cost of quality service delivery, and any ideas to do that are most welcome (see contacts below).

Emerging approaches
WaterAid informed the participants that they are strengthening their own internal contracting and procurement processes for borehole drilling, as well as exploring alternative management models for rural water supply services (beyond community management). Further, the organisation is supporting local service providers and authorities to enhance asset mapping, service performance monitoring, district-wide planning and full life cycle costing assessments to inform its advocacy at higher levels of government.

Involve and inform handpump mechanics and area pump minders
In the case of any changes to the materials used, it was pointed out that it is essential that handpump mechanics/area pump minders are trained accordingly, with a participant from Uganda stating that one of the challenges is that handpump mechanics working in rural areas are not updated on the availability of better quality handpump parts and the supply chain.

Whave in Uganda are undertaking a programme that tries to move away from repetitive maintenance, and to continuous operation and maintenance. There is clearly need for awareness raising on this issue, right to local level, and this webinar is part of that process.

Regulation and quality assurance
The India Mark and Afridev pumps are mainly manufactured in India and exported to Africa and other regions. UNICEF has recently been invited to sit on the handpump section of the committee of the Bureau of India Standards, which is a major development, given the lack of influence there in the past. This has partly come out of the Stop the Rot project, and raising the profile of the issue, leading to UNICEF seeking out how to influence policy within India.

Specific questions and responses

The future of handpumps: one participant asked whether “we still need boreholes fitted with hand pumps. I guess we can reduce the risks with submersible pumps installed and overhead tank installed to allow multiple collection of water by taps”. Kerstin Danert, author of the Stop the Rot reports responded by stating “there are still 200 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa using handpumps, and another 230 million who use unimproved sources or surface water. Handpumps are going to be around for a while”.

Handpump sensors: apart from all the actions outlined to Stop the Rot, could remote handpump sensors be a key in monitoring the handpump functionality performance against handpump parts quality. Response – “there is certainly a role for sensors, but the installation needs to be high quality in the first place, and … there is also need for a clear, robust and viable operation and maintenance service to be in place”.

Lead: what about leaching of lead from brass handpump components? Is there any work being done on this? Response – The Stop the Rot report II includes information about the leaching of lead from brass and bronze components, drawing on emerging research. This is an emerging issue, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) is in the process of developing a guideline on lead, which is actually a broader issue in water supply systems than brass and bronze handpump components. An informal working group on trace metals has been established by the University of North Carolina and comprises a large group of organisations that are really thinking through the lead issue.

Drilling casing: in Lagos, Nigeria we have the problem of metal casing corrosion (for deep wells) due to salinisation of the coastal aquifers. However, there are some companies that use PVC casing to solve this problem. Response “this problem has also been noted in Kenya, and is documented report II of the Stop the Rot trilogy. Corrosion of steel casing and screen has been observed in certain places there too.

PVC riser pipes: I recall we installed some handpumps in the past with PVC riser pipes. Are there any efforts to look in that line? Response “The Afridev has PVC riser pipes, but it can only reach about 45 m depth. There have been attempts to use PCV riser pipes on the India II with mixed results – some good, but the documentation is weak, and the material specifications, including pipe thickness and type of PVC, or most suitable couplings are not included in the current RWSN/SKAT specifications”. In the case of particularly shallow groundwater, the Tara pump (can lift from a depth of 15m), as well as the EMAS pump, the rope pump and small scale solar pumps may be an option – all rely on PVC pipes.

Quality control: In Zambia, is there a process to control the quality of the pumps and their validity period? If so, is the community involved in this process? Response: “There is no such process to control quality. For now, it is left to the vendor. There are however plans to develop a national technical standard for boreholes which document can contain such controls which can then be used by procurement entities.”

Long and short term solutions

Solving the rapid corrosion and poor quality components problem requires long term thinking and action, with the involvement of basically everyone who is working on handpump solutions for rural water supplies. Regulation is a key issue and it is essential that industry standards are brough in, as described by Christopher Lindsay.

A Stop the Rot action group is being established, and one of the issues that this group will look at is awareness-raising. This group wants to engage with others, and will reach out through the RWSN DGroups platforms and other means. For those who want to continue to be involved, please let us know (contacts below). There is a lot that needs to be done, from advocacy to grass roots work in communities, as well as quality control and regulation. The group welcomes contact from webinar participants and others, including those from other sectors.

If you would like to know more about, or engage with the ongoing Stop the Rot initiative, please contact or

* The Stop the Rot research looked specifically at the main public domain handpumps – the India Mark Pump, and the Afridev Pump, and drew learnings from the Zimbabwe Bush Pump, documenting experiences of rapid corrosion and poor quality components.

Série de blogs sur le 30e anniversaire du RWSN : réflexions du Dr Peter Morgan  

Cette année, nous célébrons les 30 ans de la création officielle du Réseau rural d’approvisionnement en eau (Rural Water Supply Network). Après des débuts très techniques en tant que groupe d’experts essentiellement masculins au sein du Handpump Technology Network, nous avons évolué pour devenir un réseau diversifié et dynamique de plus de 13 000 personnes et 100 organisations travaillant sur un large éventail de sujets. Au fil du temps, nous avons acquis une réputation d’impartialité et sommes devenus un rassembleur mondial dans le secteur de l’eau en milieu rural.

Le RWSN ne serait pas ce qu’il est aujourd’hui sans les contributions et les efforts inlassables de nos nombreux membres, organisations et personnes. Dans le cadre de la célébration du 30e anniversaire du RWSN, nous organisons une série de blogs, invitant nos amis et experts du secteur à partager leurs réflexions et expériences dans le secteur de l’eau en milieu rural.

Notre premier contributeur est le Dr Peter Morgan, membre du RWSN, basé au Zimbabwe.

Dr Morgan, pourquoi avez-vous commencé à travailler dans le secteur de l’eau en milieu rural ?

Je n’ai commencé à travailler dans le secteur de l’eau en milieu rural qu’en 1973, dans ce qui était alors la Rhodésie.

Continue reading “Série de blogs sur le 30e anniversaire du RWSN : réflexions du Dr Peter Morgan  “

Stop the Rot – Stakeholder perspectives on handpump corrosion and quality – Part 1

A summary of discussions at the RWSN webinar (April 2022)

Handpump reliance, rapid corrosion, component quality and supply chains in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) were the subject of the trilogy of reports from the ‘Stop the Rot’ published in 2022. The research looked specifically at the main public domain handpumps – the India Mark Pump, and the Afridev Pump, and drew learnings from the Zimbabwe Bush Pump. A RWSN-hosted webinar in April 2022 presented the findings, heard from seven panellists and the chair as well as the audience. So, in a nutshell, what was discussed? With this blog I share with you a number of stakeholder perspectives as the Stop the Rot Action Group to tackle handpump corrosion and improve component quality is established.

Weld failure in riser pipe, source: Tony Beers.

Donald John MacAllister (British Geological Survey – BGS) recognised Stop the Rot complements on the work of the BGS Hidden Crisis project, which investigated the underlying factors of handpump borehole functionality in SSA. It is great to see the new estimates of the number of people relying on handpump boreholes, and how important they will remain in the future, and have light shone on the corrosion problem that many rural communities face. In addition, it is useful for the wider causes such as procurement modes and supply chains issues to be considered, areas that require more. From a BGS perspective, there is interest in looking at where there are risks for corrosion across SSA, and what can be done to alleviate the problem, given that we know that handpumps will remain important in the future.

Levy Museteka (Water Resources Management Authority – WARMA, Zambia) explained that the country has suffered from handpump corrosion, especially in the north, where naturally low pH, compounded with the use of galvanised iron (GI) pipes led to most of the pumps failing due to corrosion. When he worked in the north-western province, Levy mentioned that there used to be an annual budget for rehabilitation, with most of that money used to replace GI pipes, returning activity every year. If there is no proper plan for replacement, after a few years you have a “graveyard of boreholes”. Zambia currently lacks regulations regarding pump materials. Switching handpump pipes from GI to stainless steel would come at a significantly higher capital cost, and any changes would require advocacy with the multi-lateral agencies in the country.

Corroded Galvanised Iron (GI) riser pipe repaired with bicycle inner tube (source: Richard Carter)

Duncan Marsh (Pump Aid and Beyond Water) is involved in an organisation developing professional repair and maintenance services in Malawi, where there is a very high rate of non-functionality of handpumps. The shift in a ‘payment by results model for asset management’ amongst some donors, involves being paid to increase pump functionality. The quality and costing of spare parts is vital in such a model, whereby service providers and governments, need to be able to forecast repair and maintenance costs over a multi-annual basis. Such forecasts are used in contracts between the service provider and government to provide a minimum guaranteed uptime (functioning time) of water supply services. Rapidly corroding spare parts increase the servicing costs considerably, and there is also less certainty with respect to providing that sustainable service. From the perspective of Beyond Water, it is essential that spare parts imports are regulated, and budgeting of repair costs is accurate over a number of years. Poor quality spare parts have an associated opportunity cost, but regulation and increased quality spares also have associated costs.

Christopher Lindsay (IAPMO Group) IAPMO, is an industry trade association, formed by water officials who recognised problems with the way that the water infrastructure was coming together, and now develops standards, provides training and runs testing and certification labs around the world. The Stop the Rot initiative is dealing with performance problems in a complex ecosystem. Christopher states that it is time to engage industry processes better; to protect the quality and performance of handpumps. This involves three major steps: (1) standards development organisation to develop international standards for these pumps (recognising the work by Skat and RWSN to date); (2) adoption of the international technical standard into national regulations; (3) for products that impact public health and safety, there is need for a layer which formalises testing and certification requirements. With these three steps in place, it is then possible to focus on local enforcement mechanisms and ultimately increase the market share for quality products.

Ron Sloots (TGS Water Ltd and WE Consult, Uganda): TGS water is currently rehabilitating about 60 boreholes in Uganda, and each one of them has a corrosion issue. All of the GI pipes are being replaced with stainless steel, in line with the Ugandan government policy mandatory installation of stainless steel pipes. To address the issues raised by Stop the Rot, there is need for a stronger involvement and larger responsibility of the donor community. Unfortunately, existing standards and specifications, are not always used. One problem is that the budgets prepared by certain NGOs are not very realistic, and risks, such as of drilling dry boreholes, or facing deeper water tables, or the water chemistry, tend to be transferred to the contractor, despite the fact that they cannot do anything about these risks. However, NGOs operate in a very competitive environment and rely on money from donors. And so, they quote very low, and do not include the cost of the risks, which are simply transferred to the contractors. Meanwhile, many donor organisations are not even aware of these challenges and just follow and engage the NGOs. The donor agencies need to take responsibility, and put more effort into project design – don’t just find a project but make sure that you know everything about the area where they are taking place, and influence so that standards are used.

Handpump Borehole Rehabilitation, source: UNICEF Nigeria

Abdou Aziz Linjouom (Consultant, Cameroon): the phenomenon of handpump corrosion is a reality in Cameroon, with handpumps an important source of drinking water for rural dwellers, as well as those who lack piped water supplies in urban areas and for institutions such as schools and hospitals. Following discussions with numerous stakeholders in Cameroon, notably the enterprises import and sell handpump components, it is clear that there is a lack of knowledge about material standards. Further, those installing the pumps have also stated that component quality is often poor. This has negative consequences for handpump users, and can affect water quality. Users have explained that while for the first months, they are satisfied with the source, that after a few months, the water quality deteriorates with rust from the pump. This has a knock on effect on use of the source, and ultimately upon children. There is need to fully quantify and qualify the extent of the corrosion problem, and invest in training to improve the situation, as well as monitor sources.

Steven Kumwenda (Baseflow, Malawi) concurs with the findings of Stop the Rot. Borehole forensics is a methodical way of trying to investigate issues affecting a borehole, from the boreholes pump parts, and yield as well as siting. Baseflow has undertaken forensics on more than 200 boreholes in Malawi. The handpump corrosion due to low pH that has been found in the Stop the Rot study is rare, but corrosion as a result of highly saline wells does occur. However, it has also been observed, that the less a handpump is used, the more serious the iron problem becomes. In Malawi, if you find a borehole affected by iron, the communities still use it, and the more they use it, the clearer the water becomes, with the water mostly reddish early in the morning. Highly saline boreholes will rarely be used, and so salinity is this a bigger issue for Malawi than iron. Over the years borehole drillers have mushroomed in the country, hundreds and hundreds of boreholes drilled. However, a cohort of boreholes do not last long, breaking down within and one or two years.

Malawi faces a problem whereby boreholes are not being drilled to the standards required, which is further compounded by the fact that, unlike other construction sub-sectors, the borehole drilling sector does not follow the accepted arrangement of having an independent consultant (in this case, a hydrogeologist) for quality control and ensuring adherence to contractual requirements and standards. Target numbers are a key part of the problem, with NGOs and donors wanting to see numbers of handpump boreholes. A well supervised drilling process should take no longer than two days to complete, which also allows for data collection, taking measurements and checking the quality of the installed parts. However, all of this is rushed. While this issue has been raised, checks that standards for drilling and spare parts are being complied with are still lacking. This presentation needs to be shared at higher policy levels, and regionally, there is need to look at mechanisms that can improve drilling quality and the quality of handpump parts.

Peter Harvey (UNICEF), chaired the webinar recognising that change takes time. There are many common threads from the panellists, in terms of professionalisation, not just going for the lowest cost, ensuring quality and giving the necessary attention to that. With the SDGs and their focus on sustainable services, there is no excuse to be making the mistakes of old. Finance is important – not just for maintenance, but also for the regulatory framework. There is need for the consideration of realistic per capita costs of delivering sustainable services, while true value for money means the value of an ongoing service rather than static infrastructure that may not function after some time.

While many professionals in the sector are aware of this problem, not everybody is. What we hope from Stop the Rot in the future, is to see how we can work collectively, communicate better and advocate for changes with decision makers.

If you would like to know more about, or engage with the ongoing Stop the Rot initiative, please contact or

A Billion Dollar Loan Fund, and the Path to Better-run Water Utilities

As of 2020, Vietnam had the highest levels of rural water coverage among any country of comparable economic level, with coverage equivalent to countries with two to three times its per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We were curious: what was the contribution to this success by the billion dollar Asian Development Bank Water Sector Investment Fund (“the Fund”)?

from USAID Global Waters. RWSN is a member of the REAL-Water research consortium

As of 2020, Vietnam had the highest levels of rural water coverage among any country of comparable economic level, with coverage equivalent to countries with two to three times its per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We were curious: what was the contribution to this success by the billion dollar Asian Development Bank Water Sector Investment Fund (“the Fund”)?

To answer this question, we invited Hubert Jenny, formerly of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and now consulting for UNICEF, for a conversation on the REAL-Water podcast (available on Anchor, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, among other platforms).

Continue reading “A Billion Dollar Loan Fund, and the Path to Better-run Water Utilities”

Professional Drilling Management – Online Course 2022

An estimated 50% of the global and 75% of the African population rely on groundwater for their drinking water supplies. This is likely to increase in the future, especially in the face of climate change.

Drilled water wells are vital to achieving universal, clean drinking water, with the sources safe, affordable, reliable and available. Services also need to be constructed in order to last. To achieve this, water wells, or boreholes must be drilled, developed and completed in a professional manner. Key elements of a professional drilling sector are procurement, contract management, siting, borehole design, construction, and supervision. Water resources must also be considered and long-term support is required to maintain water supply services.

Drilling Supervision Course in Sierra Leone (source: Kerstin Danert)

This new online course on professional drilling management, will equip participants with knowledge on: groundwater information, siting, costing and pricing, procurement and contract management, borehole drilling and supervision and how professional water well drilling is affected by the wider regulatory framework and institutional environment. By the end of the course participants will:

  • Have an understanding of the key elements of a professional water well drilling sector including key reasons that boreholes fail, or perform poorly and why drilling supervision is important.
  • Recognise the value of groundwater data and know what constitutes good borehole siting.
  • Appreciate the importance of drilling supervision.
  • Have improved their knowledge of drilling procurement and contract management
  • Understand what constitutes a strong institutional framework (at national or state level) for borehole drilling, including driller licencing, borehole permits and drillers associations.
Course content
Groundwater Data and Siting 
Procurement and Contract Management 
Borehole Drilling and Supervision 
Legal and Institutional Considerations 
Actions to Raise Drilling Professionalism

The course is designed for professionals already engaged in the management of water well drilling, or those that expect to do so, with an emphasis on low– and middle–income countries. Target participants include government, NGO, UN and donor organisation staff, as well as those working in the private sector. Participants may be working in development or humanitarian aid/emergency contexts.

Interested applicants are welcome to apply between Tuesday, 10th May and Wednesday, 15th June 2022, with successful participants informed by 20th June. The course will start on Friday, 24th June and run up to the 29th October 2022. Application link:

Groundwater Resources Management New Online Course – 2022 

Apply by 11th April 2022

An estimated 75% of the African population relies on groundwater for their drinking water. Groundwater supports social and economic development and will become increasingly important in the face of climate change, droughts and floods. If groundwater is to provide reliable, safe and sustainable water supplies now and for future generations, the resource must be well-managed. This requires consideration of the entire system of policies & laws, strategies & guidance, monitoring & management as well as investments & projects. Those that manage and develop groundwater need to be equipped with appropriate skills and knowledge.

This new online course on groundwater resources management, launched in 2022 will provides participants with a comprehensive overview what impacts upon groundwater. Echoing the theme of the World Water Day 2022, this course will make the invisible visible. 

Participants who successfully complete the course will have an awareness of the importance of groundwater, understand the need to preserve it and be equipped with basic knowledge to engage in the management of groundwater resources at national and transboundary levels.

Transboundary aquifers in Africa: Approaches and mechanisms

Course content
– Characterisation of Aquifer Systems from a Management Perspective
– Groundwater monitoring and data/information management & communication
– Groundwater quality and source water protection
– Groundwater regulation, licensing, allocation and institutions for aquifer management
– Transboundary aquifers in Africa: Approaches and mechanisms

The online course is open to 250 participants from governments, NGOs, basin organisations, private sector, training organisations, academic organisations and donors. The course will start on Friday 29th April and run up to the 29th August. The application process is open to Tuesday 11th April 2022. 

Successful participants will be informed by the 22nd April 2022. 

Application link:

Rats! Village level ecological-based rodent management

by Meheretu Yonas, Luwieke Bosma and Frank van Steenbergen

Find out more from Meta Meta Research

Hygiene is arguably the more forgotten component in WASH. Within WASH, water and sanitation systems have received much attention and there have been important programs to promote hand washing and menstrual health and hygiene, rightly so. But several other dimensions of hygiene do not get the attention they deserve, in particular village pests that carry common diseases which they transmit to humans through direct contact, food contamination or other pathways.

Pest rodents (rats and mice) are important carriers of pathogens that cause diseases in humans and domestic animals. Different rodents have different behaviour and have different propensities to transmit those diseases. Some rodents, like the roof rat (Rattus rattus), prefer to live in the houses and storage areas. Other rodents may prefer the fields.

There are about 60 known diseases transmitted to humans and animals by rodents. Examples of diseases and parasites of public health importance include leptospirosis, salmonellosis, giardiasis, murine typhus (rickettsia), capillariasis and other helminths intermittently shed by rodents. For instance, salmonellosis is the cause of 25% of all diarrhoea cases worldwide. Leptospirosis affects more than one million people annually and cause more deaths than Ebola for instance.

We advocate that integrating a Village Level Ecologically Based Rodent Management (vEBRM) approach with the activities of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) helps improve nutrition, food safety and public health in the villages in Africa and Asia. vEBRM requires awareness and understanding of rodent habits and a change in people’s behaviour, as people often create the ideal conditions for rodents to multiply. Hence, vEBRM does not seek to just exterminate the rodents, but to control their access to food, their habitats, and movements and to make use of natural enemies.

Here are three important aspects:

Aspect 1: Rodents damage and contaminate food. They are a major cause of human diseases through a multitude of transmission pathways and infect livestock as well. They may attack people, especially children and the elderly. They consume food stores, damage property and some rodents will spread bad smells and create annoying noise.

Aspect 2: Inadequate waste disposal, grain and cattle feed storage methods aid the proliferation of rodent populations in villages thereby heightening public health issues.

Aspect 3: One cannot do this alone: like community WASH, vEBRM needs a systematic collective effort.

Here are the 10 Key Rules in vEBRM:

  1. Communities should first appreciate the fact that rodents are a problem for both agriculture and public health, and that it is possible to reduce rodent populations to close to zero.
  2. Collaborative, community-based participation is imperative at all stages of household and community-level sanitary and hygienic activities and in the introduction of proper storage and house construction to create a healthy village free of rodents. Adequate cleaning, trash removal and rodent-proof trash containers are necessary.
  3. Establish robust community awareness campaigns to achieve people’s behavioural changes towards rodents, food and grain storage methods and household and community-level waste disposal so that rodents are denied access to food and harbourage.
  4. Ensure regular inspection of houses, storage areas and gardens. Immediately repair openings where rodents passthrough and take shelter, such as fencing and stone-bunds. When observed, immediately remove any harbourage, rat runways, climbing spots, etc. It is important to understand that rodents are neo-phobic and learn the locations of new objects, food sources and escape routes very quickly.
  5. Traditional brooming is a special point of attention: especially hard brooms in rodent infested households have the potential to spread rodent-associated RNA viruses and bacteria by contaminated aerosols and arthropod vectors. Hence:
    1. Ensure minimal dust blows while sweeping using water and soft brooms.
    1. Use cloth or facemask to cover the mouth and nose.
  6. Construct storage houses and materials in such a way that it is impossible for rodents to enter (Fig. 3). Ensure that roofs, doors, and windows are fit tightly, and gaps and flaws are avoided. When detected, gaps and flaws should be sealed immediately with rodent-proof material. Interrupters may also be used.
  7. Make sure some of the most sensitive household items are protected from rodents:
    • Store food, grain, drinking water, household utensils in rodent-proof containers and cabinets to avoid persistent household-level re-infestations.
    • Store children/infant food, water and feeding utensils (such as plastic infant/children feeding bottles) in safe containers at all times.
  8. Encourage keeping domestic cats (and dogs) at household level (see Fig. 1) and discourage chasing and prosecution of natural predators of rodents (such as birds of prey, wild cats, mongoose, snakes).
  9. If after all these measures rodent infestation persists: use mechanical killing methods (local and commercial traps), flood rodent burrows, and use proven biorodenticides (ecologically sustainable rodenticides originated from plant materials) or selected chemical rodenticides to manage rodent populations. Avoid using chemical rodenticides that have no user application information and production and expiry dates.
  10. Establish and implement strict village (or neighbourhood) bylaws and rules to ensure household and neighbourhood sanitation and hygiene. Use a record-keeping system that lets the community know who are not respecting the bylaws, who are the offenders. Besides, develop and implement community strategy for a solid waste disposal system (including recycling). Additionally, introduce mandatory “one pit waste each, per household and per village” rule in the village bylaws. Organize groups and committees that create awareness about community sanitation and hygiene and are responsible for enforcing the bylaws. Assign responsible bodies for trash removal and maintenance of communal trash containers and trash dumping areas (pits).

Photo credit: Meta Meta Research “Cats, one of the natural predators to control rodent populations”

Un guide pratique pour dépasser le jargon entre les spécialistes des thématiques de genre et les praticiens de l’eau.

Figure 1 Dalia Soda, mécanicienne de pompes, à l’un des forages qu’elle entretient dans le village de Nzeremu, district de Salima, Malawi, juin 2016. (© WaterAid / Alexia Webster)

Autonomisation des femmes par le biais d’activités d’approvisionnement en eau en milieu rural : Un guide pratique par et pour les praticiens du Réseau d’approvisionnement en eau en milieu rural (RWSN) combine les apports et les exemples des ingénieurs avec le langage et l’expertise des spécialistes des thématiques de genre, et vise à faire le pont entre ces deux mondes. Le guide est le résultat d’un processus de co-création avec les membres du RWSN (atelier virtuel, e-discussion, édition d’une première version du document) et d’une consultation avec des spécialistes des thématiques de genre tout au long du processus pour s’assurer que le produit final équilibre à la fois les concepts clés et le jargon des spécialistes, ainsi que les contributions et les besoins des praticiens. Le guide est désormais disponible en anglais, français et espagnol.

Un guide pour qui ?

Ce guide pratique a été conçu par et pour des praticiens travaillant dans le secteur de l’eau en milieu rural – société civile, secteurs public et privé. Il s’adresse aux praticiens de l’eau pour qui l’autonomisation des femmes est un sujet nouveau, ainsi qu’à ceux qui souhaitent comparer leurs activités actuelles avec les recommandations du guide. Le guide vise à fournir aux spécialistes de l’eau un langage et des connaissances sur la meilleure façon de travailler avec des experts en genre pour mettre en place des activités plus transformatrices. L’autonomisation des femmes en tant que composante des interventions AEPHA devrait être à la fois une cause et un résultat de la réussite des programmes AEPHA sensibles au genre. L’autonomisation doit donc être un objectif stratégique en soi avec des activités, des instruments et des outils de suivi ciblés. Elle ne doit pas être traitée comme une activité supplémentaire visant à accroître la durabilité ou l’efficacité des systèmes, faisant ainsi des femmes des instruments du processus.

Un mode d’emploi pratique

Le guide est un mode d’emploi concis et pratique, à appliquer au contexte local. Le guide passe en revue les cinq facteurs d’autonomisation (accès à l’information, participation, engagement et inclusion, dynamique et structures du pouvoir, renforcement des capacités), ainsi que les différentes étapes des activités (identification, conception, suivi et évaluation, reporting). Des checklists pour chaque étape des activités ont été préparées afin de rendre le guide aussi pratique que possible. Le guide est également un mode d’emploi de ce qu’il ne faut pas faire : En tant que praticiens de l’eau en milieu rural, nous sommes souvent confrontés à des “mythes” – des croyances et des idées largement répandues mais fausses sur l’autonomisation des femmes. Le guide présente plusieurs mythes liés à chaque facteur d’autonomisation et les déconstruit. Faites attention à ces “mythes” et aidez votre équipe et vos collègues à en prendre conscience.

Figure 2 Liste de contrôle de la phase de conception

Le document est enrichi de nombreux exemples concrets. Par exemple, l’importance d’explorer les structures existantes et les dynamiques de pouvoir est illustrée par un exemple au Népal avec l’utilisation des groupes de mères existants pour la collecte des eaux de pluie, et celui des groupes musicaux traditionnels de femmes et des groupes d’agricultrices au Soudan du Sug.

Avons-nous manqué quelque chose ?

Ce guide est une contribution de RWSN à l’autonomisation des femmes dans le secteur de l’eau. En tant que réseau mondial de professionnels et d’organisations du secteur de l’eau en milieu rural engagés à améliorer leurs connaissances, leurs compétences et leur professionnalisme, le RWSN ne s’arrêtera pas là ; le guide sera accompagné d’un dialogue continu et d’activités pour les membres du réseau, alors restez à l’écoute ! Vous avez des questions sur l’un des aspects soulevés dans le guide ? Prenez contact avec le secrétariat du RWSN ou rejoignez la communauté RWSN Leave No-one Behind ( et aidez-nous à réviser et améliorer le document.

>>> Cliquez ici pour télécharger le guide <<<

*Note: Le terme autonomisation a été choisi par le traducteur, mais ne reflète pas entièrement le sens du terme anglais original « empowerment », basé sur la racine « power » (pouvoir) – faisant référence au pouvoir d’agir des femmes et designant à la fois un processus et un résultat.

**Note: Pour simplifier la lecture du document, le masculin a été utilisé. Mais ce guide a été élaboré par, et s’adresse à des practiciens et practiciennes, et experts et expertes.

Una guía práctica para superar la jerga entre los expertos en género y los profesionales del agua

Figura 1 La mecánica de bombas Dalia Soda en uno de los pozos que mantiene en el pueblo de Nzeremu, distrito de Salima, Malawi, junio de 2016. (© WaterAid / Alexia Webster)

Empoderamiento de las mujeres a través de actividades de suministro de agua en zonas rurales: Una guía práctica por y para los profesionales de la Red de Abastecimiento de Agua en Zonas Rurales (RWSN) combina las aportaciones y los ejemplos de los ingenieros* con el lenguaje y los conocimientos de los expertos en género, y pretende tender un puente entre esos dos mundos. La guía es el resultado de un proceso de cocreación con los miembros de la RWSN (taller electrónico, debate electrónico, comentarios sobre el borrador preliminario de la guía) y una consulta con expertos en género a lo largo del proceso para garantizar que el producto final equilibra tanto los conceptos clave y la jerga de los expertos en género, como las aportaciones y necesidades de los profesionales. La guía ya está disponible en inglés, francés y español.

¿Una guía para quién?

Esta guía práctica ha sido diseñada por y para los profesionales que trabajan en el sector del agua en zonas rurales – sociedad civil, sector público y privado. Está dirigida a los profesionales del agua para los que el empoderamiento de la mujer es un tema nuevo, así como a aquellos que quieran comparar sus actividades actuales con las recomendaciones de la guía. La guía pretende proporcionar a los especialistas del agua un lenguaje y unos conocimientos sobre la mejor manera de trabajar con los expertos en género para crear actividades más transformadoras. El empoderamiento de las mujeres como componente de las intervenciones WASH debe ser tanto una causa como un resultado de los programas WASH sensibles al género que tengan éxito. El empoderamiento, por lo tanto, debe ser un objetivo estratégico en sí mismo con actividades, instrumentos y herramientas de seguimiento específicos. No debe tratarse como una actividad adicional para aumentar la sostenibilidad o la eficacia de los sistemas, convirtiendo así a las mujeres en instrumentos del proceso.

Una guía práctica

La guía es concisa y práctica, para ser aplicada en el contexto local. La guía pasa por los cinco factores de empoderamiento (acceso a la información; participación; implicación e inclusividad ; dinámica y estructuras de poder; fomento de capacidades), así como por las etapas de las actividades (identificación, diseño, seguimiento y evaluación, elaboración de informes). Se han preparado listas de verificación para cada etapa de las actividades con el fin de que sea lo más práctica posible. La guía no solo explica cómo hacer sino también cómo no hacer: Como profesionales del agua en zonas rurales, a menudo nos encontramos con “mitos”, o creencias e ideas muy extendidas pero falsas sobre el empoderamiento de las mujeres. La guía presenta varios mitos relacionados con cada factor de empoderamiento y los deconstruye. Esté atento a estos mitos y ayude a su equipo y a sus colegas a tomar conciencia de ellos también.

Figura 2 Lista de comprobación de la fase de diseño

El documento se enriquece con muchos ejemplos concretos. Por ejemplo, la importancia de explorar las estructuras existentes y las dinámicas de poder se ilustra con un ejemplo de Nepal con el uso de los grupos de madres existentes para la recogida de agua de lluvia, y otre ejemplo con grupos de mujeres de músicas tradicionales y grupos de mujeres agricultoras en Sudán del Sur.

¿Nos hemos perdido algo?

Esta guía es una de las contribuciones de la RWSN al empoderamiento de las mujeres en el sector del agua. Como red mundial de profesionales y organizaciones de abastecimiento de agua en zonas rurales comprometida con la mejora de sus conocimientos, competencia y profesionalidad, la RWSN no se detendrá aquí; la guía irá acompañada de un diálogo continuo y de actividades para los miembros de la red, así que ¡estén atentos! ¿Tiene alguna pregunta sobre alguno de los aspectos planteados en la guía? Ponte en contacto con la Secretaría de la RWSN o únete a la comunidad RWSN No dejar a nadie atrásc( y ayúdanos a revisar y mejorar el documento.

>>> Haga clic aquí para descargar la guía <<<<

*Nota: Para simplificar la lectura del documento, se ha utilizado el género masculino. No obstante, esta guía ha sido elaborada por los y las profesionales y expertos y está destinada a ellos y ellas.

A practical guide to overcome the jargon between gender experts and water practitioners

Figure 1  Pump mechanic Dalia Soda at one of the boreholes she maintains in the village of Nzeremu, Salima District, Malawi, June 2016. (© WaterAid / Alexia Webster)

Women’s empowerment through rural water supply activities: A practical guide by and for practitioners of the Rural Water Supply Network combines inputs and examples from engineers with the language and expertise from gender experts, and aims to bridge between those two worlds. The guide is the result of a co-creation process with RWSN members (e-workshop, e-discussion, editing of the draft) and a consultation with gender experts throughout the process to ensure the final product balances both the key concepts and jargon from gender experts, as well as inputs and needs from practitioners. The guide is now available in English, French and Spanish.

A guide for whom?

This practical guide has been designed by and for practitioners working in the rural water sector – civil society, public and private sectors. It is addressed to water practitioners to whom women’s empowerment is a new topic, as well as to those who would like to compare their current activities with the recommendations of the guide. The guide aims to provide water specialists language and knowledge on how best to work with gender experts to build more transformative activities. Women’s empowerment as a component of WASH interventions should be both a cause and an outcome of successful gender-sensitive WASH programs. Empowerment, therefore, should be a strategic objective in itself with targeted activities, instruments, and monitoring tools. It should not be treated as a bonus activity to increase the sustainability or effectiveness of systems, thus making women instruments of the process.

A practical How-to-do

The guide is a “How-to-do” concise and practical, to be applied in the local context. The guide goes through the five factors of empowerment (access to information; participation; engagement & inclusiveness; power dynamics & structures; capacity-building), as well as throughout the stages of activities (identification, design, monitoring & evaluation, reporting). Checklists for each activity stage have been prepared to make it as practical as possible. The guide is also a “How-not-to-do”: As rural water practitioners, we often come across ‘myths’ – widely held but false beliefs and ideas about women’s empowerment. The guide presents several myths related to each empowerment factor and deconstruct them. Watch out for these ‘myths’ and support your wider team and colleagues to become aware of them too.

Figure 2 Checklist of design stage

The document is enriched by many concrete examples. For instance, the importance of exploring existing structures and power dynamics is illustrated by an example of Nepal with the use of existing mothers groups for rainwater harvesting, and the one of traditional women musical groups and women farmer’s groups in South Sudan.

Have we missed something?

This guide is one contribution from RWSN towards women’s empowerment in the water sector. As a global network of rural water supply professionals and organisations committed to improving their knowledge, competence and professionalism, RWSN will not stop here; the guide will be accompanied by ongoing dialogue and activities for the members of the network, so stay tuned! Do you have questions on any of the aspects raised in the guide? Get in touch with the RWSN Secretariat or join the RWSN Leave No-one Behind community ( and help us revise and improve the document.

>>> Click here to download the guide <<<