The aim of this review is to assess the literature (published and grey) on capital and recurrent costs of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in Schools (WinS) facilities and services. The review presents life-cycle costs (e.g. consumables, repair, support, and maintenance) of WinS services and assesses the practical costing exercises and tools currently available for WinS. Furthermore, this review characterizes the typical costs and financial sources for WASH services in (primary) schools and explores the different financial mechanisms available to meet school-level WASH financing gaps.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets to achieve universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) within the next 15 years (2015–30). To be sustainable, this requires the long-term funding of efficient operating costs, capital maintenance costs, and any costs of capital. It is recognized that this can only be done through a combination of user charges, national taxes, and international transfers. This paper describes the main permutations in present user charges and subsidies, and reports on the ways in which each helps or hinders access by the poor to both rural and urban WASH services. An overview, based on programme experience, academic and grey literature, indicates that it is possible to accelerate the provision of clean water, basic sanitation, and improved hygiene practices ahead of the socio-economic (effective demand) trend line but only with very significant direct and indirect subsidies; direct to consumers and indirect to the supporting institutions or entities (‘the enabling environment’). We conclude that, in the near term at least, it is likely that transfers will have to be acknowledged as a more prominent source of funding for recurrent costs, specifically capital maintenance charges, than donors would prefer. If supporting ongoing services for all, in rural areas or low-income urban settlements, with the necessary level of ongoing subsidies (transfers) is unaffordable for global society, most likely by default, then focusing upon subsidizing the poorest and most marginalized in the long term is the ‘least bad’ alternative approach – but this approach cannot be expected to deliver genuine SDGs.
In peri-urban Monrovia, contaminated hand-dug wells were contributing to cholera outbreaks. Various chlorination methods were evaluated to determine their appropriateness and efficacy, both for public health emergencies and sustainable community-managed systems.
Providing a safe water supply is not enough if water becomes contaminated on the way home. A study from Honduras reveals the various points where contamination occurred between the borehole or well and the drinking cup.
Can private investors manage rural water supplies? Initial results from a pilot project in Cambodia reveal poor take up and a lack of consultation with villagers.
Community-led management of water supply systems is central to most countries' water policy — and water committees are the essential tools. But what sort of back-up is practical and affordable in isolated areas?