The falaj – a traditional co-operative system of water management
Experience and results from a water quality project in Zambia
Household water quality in rural Zambia
Measuring sustainability in the water sector
Most methods of monitoring new water supplies, where they exist at all, rely on sophisticated indicators and, usually, on outsiders. Why not accept that if a community is making the effort to keep the supply working, then it must be a success?
At a price? The truth about community construction
Do communities have to be involved in construction work, to feel a sense of ownership? Sally Sutton argues that careful programme software design, appropriate hardware selection, and sensible training can bring about cost-effective and sustainable water and sanitation solutions.
The Plastic Revolution?
Cheap, durable sealed water carrying devices have become available all over Africa in the last few years. What are the implications of this change for rural Zambia?
Self-supply in Mali
Although a long way off achieving the water-supply MDG through communal sources, Mali has a well-established tradition of people solving their own water-supply problems by using traditional wells. A survey reveals that improved wells are often preferred to borewells, and that the quality of the water is often good.
Trends in sub-Saharan rural water supply and the essential inclusion of Self-supply to achieve 2030 SDG targets
The number of people in sub-Saharan Africa depending on unimproved water sources has not decreased over the past 25 years. Rates of progress in coverage over this period are far below those required to achieve universal access by 2030. Examination of some of the characteristics of the unserved population show major challenges to funding as well as to necessary rates of construction. Community water supply (CWS) as a sole solution is shown to be unable to solve the problem. The growth of self-financed water supplies (Self-supply) is, or could be, filling the gaps public supplies leave. Enhancing support services in the public and private sectors to improve the safety and performance of Self-supply is shown, with examples, to be a cost-effective additional strategy, which can largely, with government support, be integrated into existing services. Including Self-supply support into rural water strategies can very significantly reduce the cost of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 of basic services for all. Without its inclusion this goal is very unlikely to be reached in sub-Saharan Africa.
Transferring the rope pump to Africa: A long and winding road?
Why is a proven, simple technology which offers major economic advantages apparently finding some difficulty in gaining a foothold in Africa? Could it be too cheap for donors and too expensive for users? If the answers were simple, we would either have mushrooming production or complete abandonment. It may just be that as a 'new kid on the block', requiring new ways of thinking and new policies, the transfer process will take longer than expected. This paper explores some of the undoubted advantages which have convinced so many that its adoption has major benefits which should not be ignored. However it also examines some of the weaknesses and uncertainties which may be hindering acceptance of the pump by donors, governments and end-users. Addressing these weaknesses is essential if the pump is to fulfil any real potential to contribute to MDG (Millennium Development Goal) targets for water, health and poverty alleviation.
The jerry can: Greatest development in the water sector in the last 30 years
The jerry can is proposed as a major innovation which has spread without assistance in Africa. It has particular relevance to women, since the backbreaking work of carrying water is now shared with men.
Handwashing before drawing water: a sixth critical time?
The promotion of critical times for handwashing has done much to improve knowledge on hygiene, even if rather less on the practice. However while there has long been a recognition of the need to wash hands before preparing food, there has never been any mention of taking the same precautions before drawing water. With almost half of rural Africa still taking water either by bucket and rope or by scooping water from surface and shallow ground water, lack of handwashing can not only lead to contamination of the water being carried home, but also of the source itself, as demonstrated by source water quality monitoring detailed in this paper. Even for those taking water from better protected sources, dirty hands can lead to contamination of collected water, especially where bowls and buckets are the main vessels for water transport. Handwashing before water collection is proposed as an additional barrier to faecal-oral contamination, to make a sixth critical time.