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Piped schemes: Evolution of management models.

posted 30 Mar 2012, 07:01 by Micheal Jonga   [ updated 20 Jun 2012, 23:46 by RCN Uganda ]
The evolution of management models require improved accountability while rural communities in Uganda climb the ladder of rural drinking water services

Like in many other African countries, piped water supply schemes in Uganda are increasingly replacing the traditional point source with the handpump. As the traditional community management and governance model for point sources is not adequate for the piped schemes serving larger populations, a new Service Delivery Model in Uganda has been developed. This model, that we will call here the WSSB (Water Supply and Sanitation Board) model, was originally designed for small towns but later adapted to smaller piped water schemes, with a separation of management, operational and authority functions and with aspirations for higher private sector involvement in the drinking water sector. The model has been rolled out over the past 15 years and although it is showing promising results in the field of cost recovery and general O&M compared to the traditional community managed model, a number of questions remain to be answered. At the moment an estimated 10% of the rural population is served by piped water supply and this will increase steadily overtime with the ambition to reach 45% by 2015! (WSP-AF 2010) But it is clear that for generations to come, a large part of the rural population in Uganda will remain dependent on point sources. Can the WSSB model provide lessons and options for modernisation of the community management model? It is also clear that in practice, many variations of the model are being developed. Can the model accommodate these variations instead of pushing them into the ideal model? Accountability in the model appears to be still weak, in particular towards the consumers. How important is this and can this be improved?

Authors: Lucrezia Koestler (Fontes Uganda) and René van Lieshout (IRC Uganda), March 2012
Peer review: Marieke Adank (IRC, International Water and Sanitation Centre)

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RCN Uganda,
30 Mar 2012, 07:15