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Yesterday — 6 July 2022Main stream

Town sanitation plans for four towns in Kabarole District, Uganda

6 July 2022 at 13:46

Each town sanitation plan is a strategic and integrated documentation of sanitation interventions and services tailored to Kasenda, Mugusu, Kijura and Kiko Town Councils.

Kijura Town Council working on the Town Sanitation Plan

Kabarole District has set its vision on achieving 100% coverage of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for all by 2030. This vision is outlined in the Kabarole District WASH master plan 2018-2030, which describes elements that need to be addressed and prescribes the strategies on how to address the gaps in WASH services in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. IRC has collaborated with Kabarole District Local Government as a core district partner since 2006, and supported efforts to research, develop and publish a district WASH master plan for Kabarole District. IRC in its programming continues to facilitate implementation of the WASH master plan, with Kabarole district in the lead.

IRC supported the development of integrated and sustainable Town Sanitation Plans for four town councils in Kabarole namely, Kasenda, Mugusu, Kijura and Kiko Town Councils.

These plans providing a strategic framework to deliver and improve sanitation in the selected towns through short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Town Sanitation Plans aim at coordinating and integrating various sanitation-related measures at the town council level including physical planning, sanitation marketing, Behaviour Change Communication (BCC), local private sector involvement, law enforcement, and full stakeholder participation, among others.

Each town sanitation plan is a strategic and integrated documentation of sanitation interventions and services in the town councils. This is not a conventional technical sanitation master plan focusing on engineering and financial aspects, rather it sets out the strategies, objectives, targets, operational actions, and resources needed to achieve the vision and objectives for improvements along the sanitation value chain in the town councils.

The planning process and the results are derived from consultation with local stakeholders; capturing realities and proposing solutions that are locally generated by the stakeholders and not technocrats outside the town council.  The target groups are technical and non-technical stakeholders (residents, Community Based Organisations and funding agencies based in Kijura or the region, Non-Governmental Organisations, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Kabarole District Local Government and Town Council) who have an interest in improving sanitation at the local level.

The actions and interventions presented in the plan are focused on improving sanitation in households, public schools, public places (e.g., markets, bus/taxi stops), and healthcare facilities. In addition, the plan proposes interventions to improve the collection and treatment of faecal sludge in the town. The planning horizon is set until the year 2040.

The plans also outline estimates on the required investments to be made either by the Town Council, Kabarole District Local Government (KDLG), and/or donor agencies for improvements along the sanitation value chain.       

The development of the Town Sanitation Plans (TSPs) was facilitated by IRC Uganda with funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for Kijuura and Mugusu Town Councils, and the Waterloo Foundation for Kasenda and Kiko Town Councils.

Town sanitation plan for Mugusu Town Council, Uganda

6 July 2022 at 13:25

Kabarole District has set its vision on achieving 100% coverage of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for all by 2030. This vision is outlined in the Kabarole District WASH masterplan 2018-2030, which describes elements that need to be addressed and prescribes the strategies on how to address the gaps in WASH services in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. IRC has collaborated with Kabarole District Local Government as a core district partner since 2006, and supported efforts to research, develop and publish a district WASH master plan for Kabarole District. IRC in its programming continues to facilitate implementation of the WASH masterplan, with Kabarole district in the lead. It is upon this background that IRC supported the development of integrated and sustainable Town Sanitation Plans for four town councils in Kabarole namely, Kasenda, Mugusu, Kijura and Kiko Town Councils.

This Town Sanitation Plan for Mugusu Town Council provides a costed strategic approach towards achieving improved sanitation services for households and institutions and the entire service chain in Mugusu Town Council. To ensure the sustainability of this plan, a Sanitation Task Force was formed and trained to build their capacity in handling hygiene and sanitation-related issues. A Sanitation Stakeholders Forum was also formed comprising of different stakeholders relevant in the WASH sector to validate the baseline findings and support the implementation of the Plan.

Town sanitation plan for Kijura Town Council, Uganda

6 July 2022 at 13:17

Kabarole District has set its vision on achieving 100% coverage of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for all by 2030. This vision is outlined in the Kabarole District WASH masterplan 2018-2030, which describes elements that need to be addressed and prescribes the strategies on how to address the gaps in WASH services in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. IRC has collaborated with Kabarole District Local Government as a core district partner since 2006, and supported efforts to research, develop and publish a district WASH master plan for Kabarole District. IRC in its programming continues to facilitate implementation of the WASH masterplan, with Kabarole district in the lead. It is upon this background that IRC supported the development of integrated and sustainable Town Sanitation Plans for four town councils in Kabarole namely, Kasenda, Mugusu, Kijura and Kiko Town Councils.

The objective of the Kijura Town Sanitation Plan is to ensure proper handling of human waste both within the households and institutions. To ensure the sustainability of this plan, a Sanitation Task Force  was formed and trained to build their capacity in handling hygiene and sanitation-related issues.

Town sanitation plan for Kiko Town Council, Uganda

6 July 2022 at 13:09

Kabarole District has set its vision on achieving 100% coverage of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for all by 2030. This vision is outlined in the Kabarole District WASH masterplan 2018-2030, which describes elements that need to be addressed and prescribes the strategies on how to address the gaps in WASH services in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. IRC has collaborated with Kabarole District Local Government as a core district partner since 2006, and supported efforts to research, develop and publish a district WASH master plan for Kabarole District. IRC in its programming continues to facilitate implementation of the WASH masterplan, with Kabarole district in the lead. It is upon this background that IRC supported the development of integrated and sustainable Town Sanitation Plans for four town councils in Kabarole namely, Kasenda, Mugusu, Kijura and Kiko Town Councils.

The vision of the Kiko Town Sanitation Plan is: "Achieving universal access to sustainable sanitation for a clean, healthy and productive urban environment by 2040 through active participation of all stakeholders."

The vision will be achieved through 15 objectives with targets in the short term until 2025, mid-term until 2030 and long-term
until 2040. 

Town sanitation plan for Kasenda Town Council, Uganda

6 July 2022 at 12:55

Kabarole District has set its vision on achieving 100% coverage of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for all by 2030. This vision is outlined in the Kabarole District WASH masterplan 2018-2030, which describes elements that need to be addressed and prescribes the strategies on how to address the gaps in WASH services in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. IRC has collaborated with Kabarole District Local Government as a core district partner since 2006, and supported efforts to research, develop and publish a district WASH master plan for Kabarole District. IRC in its programming continues to facilitate implementation of the WASH masterplan, with Kabarole district in the lead. It is upon this background that IRC supported the development of integrated and sustainable Town Sanitation Plans for four town councils in Kabarole namely, Kasenda, Mugusu, Kijura and Kiko Town Councils.

The vision of Kasenda Town Sanitation Plan is: "Achieving a healthy tourism town with universal access to sustainable sanitation and an improved community livelihood for all by 2040 through engaging all stakeholders."

The vision will be achieved through 17 objectives with targets in the short term until 2025, mid-term until 2030 and long-term
until 2040.

Before yesterdayMain stream

Role of private sector in universal access to sanitation

5 July 2022 at 12:24

New free online course on Market-Based Sanitation.

A new online course on the basics of market-based sanitation brings together the latest thinking from around the world on enabling the private sector to contribute to improved and safely managed sanitation services. It has been developed by IRC, with the support of USAID Transform WASH, in collaboration with PSI and Water For People. The course aims to equip users with insights and tools on the role of market-based sanitation in creating the strong systems needed for universal and lasting sanitation services.

The scale of investment required to deliver sanitation goods and services to those who lack access is beyond the capacity of public finance alone. As Monte Achenbach, one of the course contributors and PSI’s chief of party for Transform WASH, said, ‘Imagine that a government needs to provide sanitation services to each household? That cannot be achieved by government action on their own. It is beyond the means of any government. This means there is a clear role for households to invest in improved sanitation services and for the private sector to produce and sell an array of products to meet their needs.’

Changing mindsets

Approaching sanitation as a market requires a shift in mind set, especially in governments and development partners. They often see businesses as input suppliers and contractors. In a market-based sanitation approach, businesses can engage in demand creation, manufacturing of goods and services (such as slab manufacturing, installation of toilets), and promotion and sales of goods and services (such as retailers and sales agents) to accelerate access to basic (improved) sanitation services.

Another shift in mindset that is needed is viewing households as consumers, moving away from the traditional view of households as beneficiaries, which too often resulted in offering them products that failed to meet their demand, aspirations or needs.

Market-based sanitation focuses on households as active customers of products and services. It takes a user-centred and business supplier approach to developing and producing sanitation products and services that people want and can afford and that businesses can deliver and sell profitably. The goal of building sanitation markets is to achieve ever-expanding, self-sustaining household demand for, and access to, new products and services.

Sanitation as a service

The other shift in thinking required is to see sanitation as a service that is much more than a toilet. To ensure sustainable access to safe sanitation, this concept of a service comprises much more than a physical structure. The sanitation service chain consists of six connected functions: capturing, containing, emptying, transporting, treating, and safely disposing or reusing human waste (i.e., faeces and urine, possibly including black water and grey water, see figure below).

Sanitation service chain

Access to sanitation requires products and services at both the household and the community level. The private sector is an essential part of the solution and can provide products and services for the entire sanitation service chain.

Part of a holistic approach

Market-based sanitation is an essential part of a holistic approach towards reaching safely managed sanitation services (i.e., Sustainable Development Goal 6). Specifically, it's about moving up the sanitation service ladder from a limited to a basic service and, ultimately, to safely managed services for all. It is linked to other approaches for reaching SDG 6, as well (see image below):

Market-based sanitation (MBS) is an umbrella term and includes approaches such as ‘sanitation market shaping,’ ‘sanitation as a business,’, and ‘sanitation marketing’ (or ‘SanMark’). While individual understanding and definitions may vary, the MBS approach focuses generally on improving private sector capacity to supply sanitation products and services and increasing customer demand through commercial marketing techniques. It includes a comprehensive approach toward the WASH system to create a thriving sanitation market in a country.

Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) is a communication strategy that encourages individuals and communities to adopt new behaviours. It is a strategy that triggers people and their communities to adopt healthy, beneficial, and positive behavioural practices.

Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) or community-led total sanitation and hygiene (CLTS-H) is a rural-focused behaviour change approach for ending open defecation through community participation. In simplified terms, CLTS-H (or similar community approaches to total sanitation) focus on getting people to stop defecating in the open and to start using a self-constructed (often unimproved) pit latrine.

Microfinance is the provision of small (aka “micro”) loans to low-income individuals or businesses with minimal collateral requirements.

Subsidies can be powerful and progressive tools for increasing water and sanitation access when they are designed in specific measurable achievable and realistic, timely and targeted ways and implemented effectively. This is part of session 7.

Public investments by governments (from taxes or transfers) in sanitation services will always be needed. No country in the world has realised safely managed water and sanitation services for all without public investments.

Together, this mix of approaches, with a wider strengthening of the WASH system on factors such as finance, demand, community by-law, can realise safely managed sanitation services for all.

JMP sanitation ladder

Image: The JMP sanitation service ladder with approaches to move from open defecation towards safely managed sanitation services (i.e., SDG 6). Adapted from Trémolet, S. (2012). Sanitation markets: Using economics to improve the delivery of services along the sanitation value chain.

Market-based sanitation: the basics

The free 12-hour online course provides insights and tools for the private sector to contribute to improved and safely managed sanitation services (i.e., realising Sustainable Development Goal 6) by 2030. To reach SDG 6, the private sector is essential in providing products and services that people need and want.

By the end of the course, users will have a good understanding of the role of market-based sanitation as part of strong WASH systems needed to realise universal and sustainable sanitation services. Users will know:

  • What market-based sanitation entails
  • Different approaches to applying market-based sanitation
  • Market-based sanitation as an essential part of stronger WASH systems

The course is available on the WASH Systems Academy as a self-paced and self-guided course. It can also be used in combination with webinars, group work, on the job support or part of a 3-day workshop.

The online course ‘Market-Based Sanitation: The Basics’ is available for free on the WASH Systems Academy.

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About Transform WASH

USAID Transform WASH aims to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) outcomes in Ethiopia by increasing market access to and sustained use of a broader spectrum of affordable WASH products and services, with a substantial focus on sanitation.

Transform WASH achieves this by transforming the market for low-cost quality WASH products and services: stimulating demand at the community level, strengthening supply chains, and improving the enabling environment for a vibrant private market.

USAID Transform WASH is a USAID-funded activity implemented by PSI in collaboration with SNV, Plan International, and IRC WASH. The consortium is working closely with government agencies, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the One WASH National Program, and regional and sub-regional governments.

New strategy 2023-2033

The Water Integrity Network General Assembly just approved our next 10-year strategy for 2023-2033: Catalsying a culture of integrity. WIN will build on past successes and a strong tool and research portfolio while expanding and building capacity of its network of partners. The aim is to push forward a culture of integrity for the water and sanitation sectors, in support of the realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation for all.

“The challenges facing the water sector are immense and no single actor can solve them alone. Only through concerted efforts by all stakeholders—including governments, public institutions, businesses, private organisations, and civil society—can these challenges be confronted.”

We thank all our partners for their support and contributions in making WIN what it is today and helping shape this ambitious strategy. We invite you all to join this integrity journey for water and sanitation.

 

Download full strategy:

The post New strategy 2023-2033 appeared first on WIN - Water Integrity Network.

Letter from Bangladesh: Climate mitigation in Chattogram

5 July 2022 at 10:01

This is the first in a new monthly series of articles, named “Letter from…”, written by WSUP’s teams in the main countries where we operate (Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, and Madagascar). In the first week of the month, one of those teams will have an article on the WSUP’s website about life in their communities. The first comes from Bangladesh and focuses on the impact of floods in the country.

By Abdus Shaheen, in Dhaka

Bangladesh has survived a number of disastrous events by adapting to climate change and disaster risks. At the time of writing, however, the country faces another gruelling experience: north-eastern districts are suffering from heavy floods, even after intensive preparation to prevent such a tragedy.

A coastal country, Bangladesh witnesses 2,200 millimetres of rainfall each year, but the north-eastern districts can receive as much as 5,000 millimetres. In the most recent event, the districts surrounding the Sylhet area have been suffering from very heavy rains, and the Himalayan meltdown – which is not stopped by Indian barrages – leads to the overflow of local rivers. This flow is going southwards, causing widespread damage, including in the Chattogram area, in the south-east.

Due to these disasters, people mostly suffer from water and sanitation-related crises. WSUP Bangladesh has been playing a vital role in mitigating human-induced climate issues, especially in providing safe water supply and waste management services.

Infrastructure in risk zones

In Chattogram, WSUP has been implementing water supply infrastructure projects where regular authorities have not been able to supply safe and clean water to the poor households in risk zones or underprivileged areas. Those areas are also prone to landslide risks, and when incidents occur electricity and water, including all types of utility connections, tend to be cut off.

Areas of Bangladesh with Major Disasters Source: Bangladesh Climate and Disaster Risk Atlas

The Chattogram Water Supply And Sewerage Authority is responsible for supplying drinking water to the city, but in the most low-income communities (LICs) it has been a major challenge to offer the service, as residents usually live in hill tops or very low-lying lands. WSUP Bangladesh tries to fill these gaps.

Alongside water infrastructures, WSUP Bangladesh is also implementing safe sanitation infrastructure activities for LICs that have been struggling to implement disaster-coping sanitation systems on their own.

Sustainable and waste management

Chattogram is a heavy industrial area, and there are various garment factories in the industrial zones. WSUP Bangladesh has, therefore, also focused on ready-made garments (RMG) workers’ communities whose water and sanitation facilities are inadequate.

Under heavy rainfall, dwellers most commonly suffer from waterlogging, which is contributed by the waste dumping at the drainage and canal networks, blocking the path that is supposed to carry the water out of the city.

WSUP Bangladesh has been helping build awareness for sustainable and waste management services and concentrating on faecal sludge management, including treatment and safe disposal. While the raw sludge water carries harmful bacteria – and is a nightmare for any public health institution –, treated water from faecal sludge is safe for the environment.

Our teams have already constructed a large faecal sludge treatment plant in the area of Chattogram City Corporation, and some private enterprises are engaged with the local authorities to provide sludge emptying services. The same enterprises also carry the collected sludge from the containments and transport it by vacuum trucks – which are much less likely to expose it to the open environment.

The carried sludge is dumped in a treatment plant, where the treated water is released into the open environment, while the treated solid from the sludge is transformed into compost or soil conditioner to be used in the local agricultural sector.

More about WSUP's work in Bangladesh

A history of floods

Out of 18 minor and major floods in Bangladesh during the 20th century, the most catastrophic ones happened in 1951, 1987, 1988, and 1998. In 1987, more than 57,000 km2 of land were affected by the devastating flood. In 1988 the disaster was even more damaging, as 82,000 km2 – or about 60% of the whole territory of the country – ended up underwater. Yet, resources were not prepared adequately, and a decade later, in 1998, about 75% of the country submerged in floods once again.

Flooding in Chattogram in 2022. Credit: New Age BD

Significant floods this century took place in 2004 and 2010. Bangladesh’s southern districts (all  coastal areas) also suffered immensely from cyclones Sidr and Aila, in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Later several small and large cyclones hit the country, causing massive saline intrusion in the agricultural lands, therefore making the southern agricultural sector almost incapable of cultivating crops.

Bangladesh is a riverine country. River erosion, flash floods, the peak of river waters, heat waves, and various other disasters are yet to be addressed. The Chattogram region also suffers from earthquakes, on top of flooding and land-sliding in the hilly areas. In the northern areas of Bangladesh, the Himalayan meltdown causes massive water inflow in neighbouring lands, flooding farms for thousands of miles. Bangladesh’s preparation for disasters, however, has become stronger with the dramatic experience brought by these events. Several government departments have been working to provide tools to prepare citizens for any potential calamity, as the country learns to be more resilient.

Environmental disasters, caused by nature but increasingly exacerbated by human activities, still have severe potential to harm Bangladesh’s livelihoods and nature. WSUP Bangladesh is one of the change-making organisations aiming at overcoming issues surrounding the water and sanitation sector, a mission also embraced by other national and international agencies working with the country’s authorities. We hope and work for a cleaner urban environment, in Chattogram and the whole of Bangladesh, where people can enjoy healthier and safer lives.

Top image: Flooding in Chattogram. Credit: Chattogram City Corporation

SWA launch global study on external perceptions of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

4 July 2022 at 09:22

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) recently published the results of a global audience study that looked into the perceptions around water, sanitation, and hygiene of experts working in climate, … Read more

The post SWA launch global study on external perceptions of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene appeared first on UN-Water.

June 2022 newsletter

1 July 2022 at 10:00
By: editor
June 2022 newsletter editor 1 July 2022 - 09:00

We're all about partnership for impact

29 June 2022 at 17:15

IRC is all about partnership for impact and 2021 saw us create exciting new partnerships and consolidate existing ones.

IRC annual report cover photo 2021

Destination 2030: a vision of local, national and global impact and scale

2021 was the final year of our medium-term strategic plan (2017-21), and we ended it on an upbeat note when, in August, we cemented our Alliance with Water For People and launched our visionary Destination 2030 Strategy. The vision is clear: the passionate pursuit of sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services for all. Working together to drive exponential progress in the delivery of WASH, and guided by our shared Destination 2030 Strategy, we will serve 20 million, reach 200 million and change the system. By 2030 we will have radically increased our impact while tripling the annual investment in water and sanitation systems.

Leveraging partnerships and building new relationships in our partner districts

Destination 2030 is all about a shared commitment to scale, impact and change, with the delivery of services to everyone in our partner districts at its heart. Four years after launching the first district 'master plan' (in Asutifi North, Ghana, in March 2018) we continue to see the results that come from empowered local leadership and collective action around a shared vision of access for all. That original master plan has now been joined by 18 others, of which six were finalised, validated and approved by district leadership in 2021.

In Niger, our two partner districts are the only ones – out of 266 communes – to have master plans. Regular service level monitoring means that these district governments are also the only ones to base their decisions on accurate knowledge of WASH service levels in local health centres and schools. In Ghana, the work of implementing the master plan in Asutifi North district has led to the creation of the National Development Planning Commission's WASH Toolkit for the sector. And some districts, like Asutifi North, are on track to reach their entire population with safe water services by 2030. Other areas, like Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, are faced with continuous security challenges, and partners in these areas need to find new ways of working. In 2021, IRC and its partners started using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to pinpoint the location of vulnerable populations and identify ways to reach them.

The move towards more professionally managed rural water supplies continues. 2021 was also the year where we showed how important it is to deepen our relationships with utilities, in rural as well as urban areas. Professionally managed water services can contribute to overcoming common challenges related to rural water service provision, including low management capacity and performance of service providers, in order to ensure sustainable basic, and where possible, safely managed water services.

For example, in Uganda we formed a tri-partite partnership with the National Water and Sewerage Corporation and Kabarole District Local Government to extend a piped water system network to ensure 100% sustainable access to the 12,800 people living in Kabende sub-county. We also worked on influencing Burkina Faso's national utility, ONEA, to increase its focus on reaching people in small towns. This will include services for 10,000 people.

Other partnerships

Our new Partnership for WASH Systems in Africa with UNICEF and Water For People is strengthening national WASH systems in 19 countries in Africa. We do this by improving sector capacities, and knowledge management, advocating for systems change at national and regional levels and providing technical assistance in WASH systems strengthening to UNICEF country offices. An important part of this has been updating UNICEF's systems and finance courses on the Agora training platform together with our WASH Systems Academy.

This year, our WASH Systems Academy had 1,066 participants with 1,404 enrolments and 483 certificates. In Ethiopia we used the online WASH Systems Academy, together with in-person workshops, to tailor the course to the local context.

Public Development Banks are central to improving the financing of the water and sanitation sector, and it is only when the sector is strong that we can achieve SDG 6, the Paris Agreement objectives and enhance biodiversity protection. Building on studies conducted as part of our consultancy work, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) launched a Water Finance Coalition of Public Development Banks. IRC acts as the Secretariat of the coalition.

We also contributed to other partnerships, networks and global platforms including Agenda for Change, Millennium Water Alliance, Netherlands Water Partnership NGO Platform, Rural Water Supply Network, Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), UN Water and Water Integrity Network. This included supporting the leadership of Agenda for Change to change its governance to one that puts country collaborations at the centre.

Challenges and what's next

As in every year, we faced challenges. Covid-19 tested our ability to work through sporadic lockdowns, while political conflict in many of our focus countries tested the resolve of our teams and the incremental improvement that lies at the heart of our systems strengthening approach.

The world is not on track to deliver its 2030 goals for safe and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services to everyone. Efforts are confronted by a lack of high-level political vision and leadership in many countries. There are too few Swachh Bharats or Jal Jeevans, and too many countries and actors that still see providing a shared handpump or pit latrine as appropriate goals. They are not! Scaling the successes we've seen in our partner districts, especially the expansion of professionally and safely managed services, requires clear and strong political commitment not just to systems strengthening – but to profound systems change.

Triggering and supporting this change is at the heart of Destination 2030. It is also the reason for our continued support to key partnerships like Agenda for Change and Sanitation and Water for All. In order to widen and reinforce the network of likeminded partners committed to this change, we will host signature events in 2022 and 2023: All Systems Go Africa in Ghana in October 2022, and All Systems Connect in the Netherlands in May 2023. We hope you'll join us.

Read our Annual Report 2021, our Monitoring Report 2021 and our 2021 Financial Report for more highlights and details of our work.

IRC at a glance 2021

Under pressure from climate change, capacity building pays off in Uganda

28 June 2022 at 11:00

Philip OthienoBy Philip Oyamo, in Kampala

On a chilly dawn in Kyenjojo, western Uganda, the electromechanical technician at Mid-West Umbrella for Water and Sanitation (MWUWS), the regional water service provider, assembles his small unit and equipment, ready to drive off to Kigorobya scheme, some 176 kilometres away. This follows a report received at 2am from the pump attendant at the production borehole, saying that the pump was not working, meaning the town would be soon waking up to dry taps.

As if nature had conspired to worsen an already bad situation, the Area Manager for Bundibugyo almost immediately calls the senior technical officer and informs him that the Bundibugyo main water intake at the river has been washed away by raging floods, due to excessive run-off from Rwenzori mountains. The increased discharge episodes in the river is attributed to climate change, deforestation, herding animals, and cultivation along the riparian zones. For the MWUWS team, it means that the previously made plan for the week has to be aborted and another team from the lean staffed technical division has to be mobilised to immediately travel 155 kilometres to Bundibugyo, assess the situation, and come up with a solution as quickly as possible, limited resources notwithstanding.

This is a typical day at MWUWS, which manages 62 water systems meant to serve circa 1 million people in small towns and rural growth centres, spread across 16 Districts in the mid-west region of Uganda. Additional schemes –  water production and distribution networks serving specific communities – are periodically gazetted for the Umbrella’s take-over.

The challenges experienced in ensuring continuous supply of potable water are not only on the technical side but also on other operational spheres. From holding volatile meetings with community members incited by politicians to demand for absolutely free services because the source of the water is “their” mountain, to lobbying District and town council stakeholders in fighting off competition from a larger utility interested in taking up water supply systems from MWUWS – and having to work extremely hard to collect revenues from customers in order to sustain operations.

Further compounded by a huge outstanding debt portfolio that the utility has been working extremely hard to recover from customers, these are just a few challenges that the commercial and finance divisions of MWUWS have to deal with on an ongoing basis.

Water in Uganda: the challenge of offering services to small towns

Non-revenue water training in Western Uganda. Credit: Stephen Mwesigwa.

Reorganisation and professionalism

Managing water supply in fragmented schemes spread geographically wide, with lean staff most of who are unskilled or semi-skilled, is not an easy task.

The good news is that, over the past four years, WSUP Advisory has been supporting MWUWS to become a well performing utility through funding received from the Conrad N Hilton Foundation. The funding provided to date totals USD 4 million, which have been invested in institutional reorganisation and capacity support, setting up governance structures and appointment of board members, marketing new connections, and expanding customer base by implementing pipeline extensions, revenue collection campaigns, adoption of billing and finance systems, scheme improvements, staff trainings on various identified gaps, among others.

The successes  recorded in institutional reorganisation came through the area performance management framework (APMF), which organised the MWUWS into core technical staff based at the secretariat, Kyenjojo. This team have been supporting and guiding semi-autonomous area teams made up of between 2 and 9 water systems, led by a single area manager. All 16 areas are further grouped into 3 clusters of between 3 and 5 areas overseen by 3 members of staff from the secretariat. This has made it possible for MWUWS to oversee operations seamlessly at all the schemes with key decisions being made at the lowest possible level. It is worth noting that some of the schemes the utility inherited from the previous managers in 2017 were rather quite old, with some dating back to the 1970s.

The schemes outlived their design capacities. This situation was exacerbated by the ever-increasing population, due to migration to the previously tiny villages and small towns. This has led to the support programme focusing on scheme improvements that enhanced the hydraulic performance and conditions of the water systems. It entailed rehabilitation and expansion of pipeline sections, installation of critical operation and maintenance valves, and fittings and installation of bulk and consumer meters. The improvements have allowed customers to receive more water in a reliable manner, with sufficient pressure.

Investments in water quality testing equipment and recruitment of additional staff have led to increased testing and consistent reporting. Water systems where testing was previously done only once in a quarter are now seeing tests done and reported four times in a month, with a few having tests done at least three times a day.

Download the Uganda report

Newly constructed water pumping station. Credit: Stephen Mwesigwa

The few significant milestones enumerated above, among many others, could not have been possible without the leadership and close guidance offered by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE). This has been coupled with the support the Umbrella received through MWE’s 100% service coverage acceleration project (SCAP 100), which availed pipes, fittings, meters and finances for systems expansion and connection of customers.

The Water and Sanitation Development Facilities (WSDF) at Central and Southwestern have also been a key infrastructure developer and local support provider for MWUWS . Other partners, e.g. IRC and Water for People, have offered significant support to the utility as well in the recent past. The MWUWS management team and staff in general have also been a key pillar to their own success, through commitment and being receptive to new initiatives and improvements.

This has not, however, been an easy journey, especially for the secretariat staff who have been spread out so thin on a number of occasions when they played host to consultants that outnumbered them in a single day. They have to sit through the deliberations and brainstorming sessions with the consultants, while still guiding the teams handling crises at the Kigorobya and Bundibugyo systems. Various support initiatives to the Umbrella are being driven from MWE side and other partners, in addition to the WSUP Advisory programme, all aimed at performance enhancement.

The work WSUP Advisory has managed to achieve at MWUWS clearly demonstrates how bringing on board extensive experience in utility management, leveraging on existing resources and capacities while closely collaborating with the government and other partners, can lead to positive and sustainable change. The utilities monthly billing, for instance, has increased from UGX 80 million in 2018 to UGX 278 million in January 2022. In the face of so many challenges, made even more difficult by the biggest of them all, climate change, this result is quite commendable.

Click on the link to download the report: The challenge of small towns: Professionalising piped water services in Western Uganda

Top image: Construction of water filtration facility at Bundibugiyo. Credit: Stephen Mwesigwa

30th anniversary of the Water Convention

28 June 2022 at 09:49

In March 1992, governments gathered in Helsinki, Finland, with a vision in mind: to manage shared waters in the pan-European region collaboratively and sustainably. By the end of the meeting, … Read more

The post 30th anniversary of the Water Convention appeared first on UN-Water.

Join the course ‘Market-Based Sanitation: The basics’

28 June 2022 at 09:04

How do you go from open defecation and unsafe sanitation to reliable and sustainable services?

Opening slide WASH Systems Academy course on market-based sanitation

Making sure that even the simplest services are maintained depends on the ongoing collaboration of a complex network of individuals and organisations. It's about strengthening the systems (i.e., the actors and factors) needed to deliver sanitation services.

Market-Based Sanitation (MBS) interventions are a promising approach to addressing (a part) of the global sanitation challenge sustainably and at scale. It is particularly suitable in settings in which households use traditional unimproved pit latrines but do not yet have access to affordable products and services to build an improved sanitation facility.

In this course, Market-Based Sanitation refers to strengthening the private sector in delivering products and services for the construction of improved onsite sanitation facilities, and to increase the willingness of end users to invest in the construction, upgrade, and/or maintenance of a toilet.

The course brings together the latest thinking from around the world and has been developed by IRC, with the support of USAID Transform WASH, in collaboration with PSI and Water For People. It will equip you with insights and tools on the role of Market-Based Sanitation in creating the strong systems needed for universal and lasting sanitation services. The course is available as:

  • A free 12-hour online course on the WASH Systems Academy, ‘Market-Based Sanitation: The basics’ that is self-guided and self-paced.
  • On demand the online course can be customised and combined with structured online support, with webinars and group work or as part of a blended approach in a face-to-face training workshop. 
Course objectives

By the end of the training, you will have a good understanding of the role of Market-Based Sanitation as part of strong water and sanitation systems needed to realise universal and sustainable sanitation services. You will know:

  • What Market-Based Sanitation entails
  • Different approaches to applying Market-Based Sanitation
  • Market-Based Sanitation as an essential part of stronger WASH systems
The WASH Systems Academy

The WASH Systems Academy is collaborative online platform developed to assist water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector professionals with the knowledge and tools to strengthen WASH systems. It now has over 3000 users from 110 countries. It is available on www.washsystemsacademy.org


 

About Transform WASH

USAID Transform WASH aims to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) outcomes in Ethiopia by increasing market access to and sustained use of a broader spectrum of affordable WASH products and services, with a substantial focus on sanitation.

Transform WASH achieves this by transforming the market for low-cost quality WASH products and services: stimulating demand at the community level, strengthening supply chains, and improving the enabling environment for a vibrant private market.

USAID Transform WASH is a USAID-funded activity implemented by PSI in collaboration with SNV, Plan International, and IRC WASH. The consortium is working closely with government agencies, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the One WASH National Program, and regional and sub-regional governments

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USAID      PSi Ethiopia      ONE WASH Ethiopia  Plan International

  SNV     IRC Ethiopia

Blended training for improving market-based sanitation in Ethiopia

28 June 2022 at 09:02

New online course on market-based sanitation tested in blended learning session in Ethiopia.

Participants hard at work during the blended learning session in Bishoftu, Ethiopia

USAID Transform WASH has consistently worked to improve capacity for market-based sanitation in Ethiopia. As part of these efforts, a new online course was developed to introduce virtual learners to the topic. As part of testing the course, from the 10th to the 12th of May 2022, a blended training -- mixing online and in person learning -- was organised in Bishoftu, Ethiopia. The training was joined by 22 people from national and regional government offices (e.g., health and job creation), national training institutes (technical and vocational training centers and the Ethiopian Water Technology Institute), microfinance institutions (savings and credit associations and banks), and development partners.

Participants individually took the 12-hour online course, ‘’Market-Based Sanitation: The Basics,’’ then participated in face-to-face presentations by experts on key content of the online course followed by group discussions. 

Getting to grips with sanitation as a business and learning online

Participants had a very mixed background and level of experience with market-based sanitation. Most had never previously followed an online course. Some struggled on the first day with setting up an account on the online platform to access the course. They needed the support of the facilitators to get started and gain confidence in using the online platform during the first two days.

Participants expressed satisfaction with the mix of in-person support and online coursework. After completing each session, facilitators provided summary presentations, and participants actively joined in discussions. They discussed the implementation of market-based sanitation on the ground and shared best practices from different parts of the country.

After three days of blended training, 20 of the 22 participants completed the online course and earned their certificates. They found the self-study through the online course motivating because it enabled them to visualize their progress. It spurred them on to engage actively with the materials.

Reactions from participants

Participants liked the online content on market-based sanitation, especially experiences from around the globe presented in short texts, videos, and animations. The course provides additional resources as tools and manuals mixed with exercises and reflection in online forum discussions. The presentations by experts brought in more examples from the Ethiopian context, to which they could relate, and helped resolve issues. The lively group discussions allowed for further sharing of experiences with market-based sanitation.

The training developed my confidence. When I passed the tests online and earned the certificate, I felt so proud. I will now continue with other courses on the platform.’ Shitahun Yirsaw, Amhara Cooperative Agency

Participants also felt that using a blended learning approach made it easier to cascade and replicate the training at regional and district levels with their partners. Inviting other colleagues to follow the free online course will make it easier to pass on knowledge than by simply using a training manual.

‘The course taught me that sanitation is an untapped business opportunity for the jobless youths.’ - Dibaba Hordofa, Oromia job creation agency

‘Some of the challenges that I heard from small and micro-enterprises that benefited from the loan we provided for slab manufacturing are like enterprises in other countries, I understood from the course. This gives us confidence in providing loans even if there are problems’ Bati Woldao, the Sinke bank.

About the course Market-based Sanitation: The Basics

This new 12-hour online course brings together the latest thinking from around the world on enabling the private sector to offer more products and services for improved and safely managed household sanitation. It has been developed by IRC, with the support of USAID Transform WASH, in collaboration with PSI and Water For People. The course aims to equip users with insights and tools on the role of market-based sanitation in creating the strong systems needed for universal and lasting sanitation services. 

By the end of the course, users will have a good understanding of the role of market-based sanitation as a key component of strong WASH systems, which are needed to realise universal, sustainable sanitation services. Users will know:

  • What market-based sanitation entails
  • Different approaches to applying market-based sanitation
  • Market-based sanitation as an essential part of stronger WASH systems

The online course is available for free on the WASH Systems Academy and is a self-paced and self-guided course. It can also be used in combination with webinars, group work, on the job support, or part of a 3-day workshop.

The online course ‘Market-Based Sanitation: The Basics’ is available for free on the WASH Systems Academy.

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About Transform WASH

USAID Transform WASH aims to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) outcomes in Ethiopia by increasing market access to and sustained use of a broader spectrum of affordable WASH products and services, with a substantial focus on sanitation.

Transform WASH achieves this by transforming the market for low-cost quality WASH products and services: stimulating demand at the community level, strengthening supply chains, and improving the enabling environment for a vibrant private market.

USAID Transform WASH is a USAID-funded activity implemented by PSI in collaboration with SNV, Plan International, and IRC WASH. The consortium is working closely with government agencies, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the One WASH National Program, and regional and sub-regional governments.

I Tried to Save the World and Failed

27 June 2022 at 13:00
by Larry Siegel My book, I Tried to Save the World and Failed, reflects on a time and effort to find rural water solutions in Mexico, Malawi and Cambodia that could be used everywhere

Presentation1

ruralwaternetwork

Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor welcomes new global CEO

27 June 2022 at 11:13

Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) is pleased to announce Ed Mitchell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit company, following Neil Jeffery’s decision to step down after eight successful years leading WSUP.

Rt Hon Lord Boateng, Chair of the Board at WSUP, welcomed the new appointment. “Ed has an impressive background in leadership, policy and sustainability in the private and public sectors, having worked in senior roles for several UK water utilities and government departments”, said Lord Boateng. “I am confident he is the right person to lead WSUP into the next chapter of its development, building on the great foundations laid by Neil during his tenure.”

Ed Mitchell has significant relevant experience in the environmental and water sectors, as well as with public policy and administration.  Most recently he was a Director at Pennon Group, the owners of South West Water, Bournemouth Water, Bristol Water, and Viridor.

Prior to this, he held the role of Executive Director of Environment and Business at the Environment Agency for nearly a decade, and was also the Director of Environment and Corporate Responsibility at Thames Water. He has also worked for GlaxoSmithKline and the UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), as well as acting as special advisor to Dame Margaret Beckett, the UK’s first female Foreign Secretary, from 2005 to 2007.

Ed holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Water and Wastewater Engineering from Cranfield University, and through his role with Thames Water was previously involved with WSUP as a non-executive director following its foundation in 2005. He is currently Chair of the Environmental Advisory Group at the Canal and River Trust, a member of the boards of South West Sensor Ltd and the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, and a trustee of the South West Lakes Trust.

“I am thrilled to be joining WSUP, having been for a long time a passionate supporter of the organisation and firm believer in the value of WSUP’s unique business model and theory of change,” says Ed. “The combination of climate change, population growth, urbanisation, and poverty is making it more urgent than ever to develop sustainable and resilient solutions for the poorest communities in the developing world. WSUP is uniquely placed to deliver these – at scale – and make a really significant contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Ed took up his position as CEO on 22nd June.

More about WSUP's governance

Workshop: Promoting Water Tenure for Food Security, Climate Resilience and Equity

27 June 2022 at 09:39

On the 28-29 June, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) host a workshop on “Promoting Water Tenure for Food Security, Climate Resilience and Equity”, in Berlin, Germany and online (hybrid … Read more

The post Workshop: Promoting Water Tenure for Food Security, Climate Resilience and Equity appeared first on UN-Water.

New video on EMAS drilling

24 June 2022 at 14:15

During the recent training in Kenya, jointly organised by EMAS International and the SMART Centre Group EMAS drilling was introduced at the Aqua Clara Centre.

EMAS drilling is a low-cost drilling method, capable of drilling wells of up to 80 meters in relatively soft soils.

A team from the WOT in Enschede was present and develop a video tutorial of the EMAS Drilling Technology. The video is now available on the Youtube-channel of the WOT.

Background to EMAS Drilling (source: Akvopedia)

The EMAS method of manual drilling is a hybrid between Jettingpercussion, and rotary drilling. A manually powered mud pump is used, and the drill stem is turned through 90 degrees at the end of each stroke. It permits to drill through all kinds of loose soils, as well as consolidated materials and light rock. It will not, however, penetrate hard original rock or boulders (e.g. ancient river beds underground). The usual diameter of the tube well is 37 mm.

The EMAS drilling method was developed by the Escuela Móvil de Agua y Saneamiento (Mobile School for Water and Sanitation, EMAS) in Bolivia. Project leader of EMAS in Bolivia is Wolfgang Eligius Buchner, born 1957 in Holzkirchen bei München.

EMAS was established in 1993, and has provided training for about 130 independent well builders in its branches in San Julian (1994) and in Puerto Pérez (1997). 20 students have been able to graduate from the licensed craftsman course. The well builders in Bolivia have founded a well builder organization.

During a three-month education, agricultural workers are trained to independently drill wells, build sanitary installations and market their skills in their local area depending on demand. The need for large financial investments for well drilling and the building of line systems has traditionally prohibited the construction of large scale potable water systems in rural areas. Wolfgang Buchner adapted already accepted suction – and rinsing drilling methods to local conditions.

EMAS is not only the name of the mobile school for water and sanitation, but also a whole technical and social concept of water and sanitation which includes rain water harvesting, solar water heaters, windpower, hydraulic rams, water treatment, small tanks and sinks, a variety of hand and foot pumps, and ferrocement tanks.

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