Grace O. Oluwasanya
The Swiss cheese failure model of self-supply hand-dug wells in developing nations: review and implications for water safety planning
Self-supply systems are privately owned household-based water sources that generally serve people beyond the asset owners. The system’s yielding safe water is crucial to achieving provision of safe water for all. This paper identifies the peculiarities and major management constraints to self-supply hand-dug wells in a developing nation context through collation of research-driven evidence and analysis of English language publications of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Information was also derived from reports and concept notes that are specifically related to self-supply water systems in low-income regions. A number of issues were identified such as poor construction of water wells, water quality concerns, and the influence of religious belief. The identified constraints were appraised through the application of the Swiss cheese risk analysis approach. The paper classifies the key failure causes, identifies possible water safety recovery routes, and discusses alternative pathways to water safety planning for self-supply sources, with implications and recommendations for relevant stakeholders.