A revolution in the design and installation of shallow garden wells has meant efficient and affordable irrigation for dry season gardeners in Niger.
Given the right mix of product, price and promotion, market-based solutions to supply water to rural households are feasible and sustainable. This requires a change in thinking from considering people as beneficiaries, and providing what we think that they need, to designing and marketing suitable products and services for clients that are affordable and are what they want to purchase. Products and services need to be developed in close collaboration with the clients and their feedback is critical in getting the right product at the right price. Social marketing, the combination of educational messages for behaviour change and product promotion is important to create a critical mass of demand for the new product or service. The market-based approach is a departure from traditional development projects where products are subsidized, to an approach where product development and initial promotion may be donor funded, but the products are supplied through a sustainable supply chain.