Water Journal : Water Journal April 2012
refereed paper international projects water APRIL 2012 129 have significantly improved the uniform quality of pots. MSABI will focus on market delivery and commercialisation steps over the coming 12 months. Sanitation MSABI has installed a total of 25 private split compost systems and four large two- stage septic irrigation systems for schools (+2,300 children). After a 12-month evaluation period in 2011, MSABI is preparing for the region-wide scale-up of private sanitation services in 2012. The cost of a split system compost latrine is US$303 and a private septic system US$416. A large proportion of the cost is appropriated to the high quality superstructure (approximately 55% and 40% total cost). The cost of a school two-stage septic and irrigation system is determined by the design load (number of users). The first installation for a student body of 800 cost $3,500 and a later installation for 350 students cost $2,500. Each school contributed materials and labour equivalent to US$1,300 and US$1,000 respectively. The estimated cost is between US$4-US$7 per student for clean sanitation with a high build quality and environmentally sound technology. Research Initial work in 2010 surveyed over 750 water points. Over 75% of water collection points in the surveyed villages of Idete, Namwawala, Mofu, Mbingu, Mngeta and Mangula are shallow open wells or river/streams. 94.5% of interviewed open well users reported health problems from drinking water from these sources. The average depth of an open well was 4.5m compared to an average depth of 22m for MSABI water points. MSABI is currently undertaking water quality surveys comparing all water sources. Initial results (from an insignificant sample size) found a faecal count >200 FCU per 100mL for (three) surveyed open wells and 1--2 FCU for MSABI water (over three) boreholes, which was comparable to the control sample of bottled water 2 FCU per 100 mL. Discussion Sustainability through local business In many parts of rural Africa, government services have limited capacity to deliver water and sanitation services. MSABI promotes the stimulation of local business to improve access to safe water and sanitation. As businesses develop, money is internally recycled back into the community. Further, it is hoped that over time local government capacity is increased through taxation revenue generated from such businesses. MSABI has pioneered a unique water business model for the ownership and management of water assets. In essence, MSABI is facilitating Private Public Ventures (PPV) between either private or government subsidies matched with local community contributions. Sustainability is achieved through stimulation of local small enterprise businesses to provide ongoing infrastructure and service delivery. MSABI believes that these types of models present an opportunity for replicable scalability for rural and peri- urban communities throughout east Africa and beyond. MSABI does not recommend a cookie-cutter approach, rather a template for adaption to meet the specific cultural, environmental and economic requirements of individual communities across different regions. MSABI has found great success from using rope pumps. However, long-term sustainability of the pump and continued community support cannot be guaranteed without paying close attention to: • The quality of workmanship of the pump manufacture; • The quality of workmanship on the pump installation (and borehole to provide safe, clean water); • The vested ownership and buy-in by the pump owner; • Combined with support systems for maintenance and repair (and affordability). In the Ifakara region community uptake was initially slow for the first six to 12 months. Demand increased rapidly once the broader community understood the simplicity, reliability and affordability of the pump, combined with the money-making business potential of selling water. Community members buying water will preferentially source clean, safe, "sweet" water compared to dirty, unsafe, open well water. MSABI has also established a reputation for quality workmanship and uniformity in providing clean, safe water. Key recommendations to the success of the program to date include the following: • Strongly supporting members of the community who spearhead demand as first acceptors of program interventions (technology), while the wider community sits on the fence and passes judgment. This is an important step in obtaining credibility and momentum for change within a community. • Investing significant time and energy into continuous training, education and personal development of local staff to reach a level of self-independence, confidence and business sustainability. From MSABI experience this is a two- to-four-year process, dependent on the level of education and prior experience of local persons employed. • Instilling a strong sense of local business ownership to both the water service providers (manufacturers, drillers, service teams) and the owners of pumps. This is their business and they should be proud of their achievements and independence. MSABI is there to assist in start-up, but ultimately they will have to operate by themselves without external assistance. Over time, the aim is to shift attitudes from dependence to independence. • Providing a quality and affordable product. Word of mouth in rural communities will determine the success or failure of WASH programs and businesses. Instilling a strong work ethic into local service providers is crucial to widespread and continued community acceptance. • Multi-stakeholder engagement is critical to understanding the local context and drivers within the region of operation. Open encouragement for Figure 3. Typical MSABI rope pump installation.
Water Journal May 2012
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