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WASH services for everyone forever: a proposal to apply the Life-Cycle Cost Approach in Uganda

posted 16 Oct 2012, 04:34 by Micheal Jonga   [ updated 19 Oct 2012, 07:20 ]

Understanding the full life-cycle costs of (rural) WASH services is a big step forward towards increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of investments in the Ugandan WASH sector, which have become scarcer over the past year. It is a major challenge to find a balance between the allocation of money for new infrastructure to increase coverage and the allocation for major repairs and rehabilitation of WASH infrastructure to maintain provision of a basic level of service.

Another important issue that needs to be addressed in Uganda is to know what service level can be offered for 24 hours/7 days a week and what does it costs, including the costs for the community, the District Water Office and the Ministry with support agencies such as the Technical Support Units.

The methodology and approach that aims to bring the answers to these and other questions is called the Life Cycle Cost Approach (LCCA). The life-cycle cost approach can be used for monitoring and costing sustainable WASH services by assessing costs and comparing them against levels of service provided. This approach has been introduced and developed by IRC, the International Water and Sanitation Centre, and partners in the WASHCost project.

In Uganda, the organisation Fontes, has carried out a scan on how the rural WASH sector is financed as a first step to introduce the LCCA approach in Uganda. It shows how complex the financing of the WASH sector in Uganda is, but also that a number of tools to help improve planning and budgeting are in place, but not always used to their full capacity. LCCA has the potential to support policy makers and implementers of government and civil society to better plan, budget and finance WASH services that will be de facto sustained and, in the medium term, to provide the sector with better value for money for the WASH services provided.

An important next step will be that the sector stakeholders identify the life-cycle costs of rural WASH services in Uganda and start discussing the implications of this information and how it can be integrated in planning and budgeting both for investment costs and recurrent costs (operation and maintenance, rehabilitation and support) of rural WASH services. This paper proposes a number of steps to adapt and apply the life-cycle cost approach to the WASH sector in Uganda.   Read  More

Authors: Lucrezia Koestler (Fontes Uganda Ltd) and René van Lieshout (IRC Uganda), September 2012

Micheal Jonga,
19 Oct 2012, 07:19