Declining groundwater levels in Malawi impacting rural water supplies

RWSN member, Muthi Nhlema, has challenged the government of Malawi over how groundwater is used for rural water supplies: 30% of water points are not working across the country and he points to declining groundwater levels being a major factor. Mr Nhlema therefore challenged the wisdom of further drilling and groundwater development, if the use … Continue reading Declining groundwater levels in Malawi impacting rural water supplies

Still barking up the wrong tree? Community management: more problem than solution

by Dr Ellie Chowns Received wisdom still suggests that community management is an important component of sustainable water supply in rural areas and small towns. Despite a shift in emphasis “from system to service”, and the idea of “community management plus”, in reality the basic community management model remains standard practice in many countries.  And … Continue reading Still barking up the wrong tree? Community management: more problem than solution

How three handpumps revolutionised Rural Water Supplies: the Afridev

1980 to 1990 was the International Decade of Water Supply and Sanitation and the greatest hand-pump project began. In the new publication "How Three Handpumps Revolutionised Rural Water Supplies" from RWSN, Erich Baumann explains how three handpumps, the India Mark II, the Afridev, and the Zimbabwe Bush Pump were developed and Sean Furey explores what … Continue reading How three handpumps revolutionised Rural Water Supplies: the Afridev

Apples and oranges: a comparative assessment in WASH

water services that last

A few weeks ago, an interesting email discussion was held on “water point mapping” D-Group of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). Part of the discussion focused on how much it costs to map or monitor all water systems in a country. Various figures were floating around in the discussion. But when looking at these in more detail, it was like comparing apples to oranges. Some of the costs mentioned had included the staff time of (local) government, others hadn’t, as they considered this to be a fixed cost; some referred only to a simple mapping of water points, others had done a more comprehensive collection of all kinds of data of the water points; some of the data were expressed in dollars per water point, others in local currency per person. So, no immediate sense could be made of the numbers. A former colleague once said: “an apple is…

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