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Current Status and Management of Hand Pump Equipped Water Facilities in Blantyre Rural District, Malawi: Case Study of Kapeni and Lundu Traditional Authorities
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 20 points / 30 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Although the access to adequate safe drinking water is taken for granted in developed countries and urban settlements in some developing countries at the end of 2002 it was estimated that globally, some 1.1 billion people still rely on unsafe drinking water sources particularly in the developing regions of India and Africa. Malawi is one of the developing countries located in the arid-semiarid Sub-Saharan African region with only 62% of its people having access to safe drinking water. Boreholes and dug wells equipped with hand pumps is the technology that has assisted the country to increase the proportion of people having access to safe drinking water.

The underlying objectives of the study were to critically characterise the existing rural water facilities management systems, and to assess the status of the water facilities that were provided to rural communities by different organisations and individuals. The aim is to form an information base upon which rural water development efforts will be advanced and to expose points of intervention for sustainable rural water supply.

A survey was conducted in two traditional authorities of Kapeni and Lundu in Blantyre rural district where 94 water users were interviewed in their households. Physical inspection survey of the water facilities in the area under study was done. Focus group discussions and informal key informants’ interviews were also done.

A majority (54%) of the respondents indicated that they participated in various stages of their water supply project. The actual responsibility for the management of all water points which were visited lies with a representative group of local community known as water points committee (WPC). 97% of the water facilities that were surveyed had WPCs of which 67% received training in management, operation and maintenance (O&M) of the water facilities. There are two types of hand pumps that were found in the area, Malda and Afridev. 83% of the water facilities were still in order. The downtimes of the water facilities ranged from 1 to 360 days depending on the kind of fault.

The traditional leaders, Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) from government and mission clinics, water facility providers and the local communities themselves are the key players at community level. The trust that the communities have in their local leadership, the approach used in provision of the water facilities, the benefits that accrued to the local communities, and the length of time the WPCs serve the communities are the major factors that influence the communities’ participation in O&M activities. Inadequate number of qualified area technicians, theft of hand pump parts and high prices of some spare parts are some of the problems that impede effective O&M of the water facilities. To improve management, O&M of the water supply systems in the area communities have additional number of the water points, and training and refresher courses for WPCs and caretakers as some of their immediate needs. The common technical problems are hand pump related in water facilities equipped with Afridev hand pump and well drying for Malda hand pump equipped water facilities. The WPCs that are not active are those whose water facilities have been out of order for a long time. Recommendations are made regarding; planning phase, construction and operation phase, and government regulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tema vatten i natur och samhälle , 2007. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
community management, hand pump, mjigo, operation and maintenance, rural water supply, water point committees
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-8179ISRN: LIU-TEMA/VMPWLS-D-06/007OAI: diva2:23017
2007-01-12, Elysion, Tema V, Linköping University 58183, Linköping, 08:00
Available from: 2007-01-29 Created: 2007-01-29

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