New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

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  • SeanFurey
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New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Dear SuSanA members

Household investment in sanitation and hygiene has been part of the mainstream WASH conversation for many years - but water supply, not so much. 

Having read an advanced copy of " Self-Supply: Filling the gaps in public water supply provision " more than 3 times now, I can thoroughly recommend it, and I have tried to capture of the some of the key points in the attached briefing .  

In this blog , Dr Sally Sutton explains why she wrote this book

It is free to download so enjoy and I would be interested to hear from those who have experience in household investment in WASH, from latrines and toilets to wells and rainwater harvesting.

Sean

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  • Chaiwe
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Dear Sean,

It is a pleasure to learn that Dr Sally Sutton worked in Zambia, and makes ref to experiences from Zambia throughout her book. Zambia of course, with its high rates of urbanisation, has seen an increase in the number of boreholes being sunk. Dependence on groundwater is even more prominent now in the urban areas, owing to unreliable piped water supply by the relevant authorities and on account of populations that are growing faster than supply can meet. The Water Resources Management Authority(WARMA) was established to manage issues pertaining to water resource management.  In order to protect and to ensure sustainable use of groundwater that is increasingly on the demand. WARMA is supported by the Water Resources Management Act of 2011. Recently the borehole registration levy was introduced by the regulator. www.warma.org.zm/

Pollution of groundwater due to poor sanitation does affect self-supply efforts. In as much as many rely on self-supply, an equal number of populations have (from a sanitation point of view), for a long time, been constructing their own sanitation facilities (septic tanks and latrines) informally and without prescribed standards/ in the absence of standards. This is especially true for urban areas within residential areas in many developing countries, where sanitation facilities are often dangerously close to the borehole water points. A huge bottleneck for self-supply.

Chaiwe
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  • SeanFurey
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Dear Chaiwe
This is definitely one of those areas where the interests of water supply and sanitation intersect. A problem that Self-supply researchers and practitioners find in many/most is the lack of government data on where private water points, which makes regulation doubly hard. I think this is why Self-supply is something that we discuss in much more positive terms in rural and remote contexts because in urban and peri-urban areas, private household supplies, such as shallow wells, are a mixed bag and generally a response to inadequate municipal water systems which should be providing reliable, safe, affordable domestic water.

It is great that Zambia have enacted groundwater regs, and we have an RWSN project with UNICEF which is currently working in WARMA to look at how effective (or not) those regulations are being implemented.

cheers
Sean
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Hi Sean,
Thanks for telling us about this book! I am wondering if I could interest Sally, or anyone else in the RWSN network with an interest in self-supply, to use content from her book to update the existing Wikipedia article on self-supply of water and sanitation?
See here:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-supply_of_water_and_sanitation

The article was created by Matthias Saladin from Skat four years ago. 

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

That's a great idea! It looks like it has been a few years since Matthias has done any edits to it. 
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Dear Chaiwe
Thank you for your comments, which, as you say,  are very relevant to the larger urban areas of
Zambia.  And there is a big growth of private boreholes there especially in per-urban areas, where piped supplies are
inadequate. We are looking at self-supply much more in the rural context where only 42% of the population have even a basic public supply and this proportion is increasing by just under 1% a year.  In this case many are resorting to investment in their own supply as an interim move since they may otherwise see no change in their water supply during their lifetime.
Problems arise when regulations which are necessary for urban areas are also applied to rural ones, and when registration (and fees) applied to large drilling contractors are also applied to small local hand-drilling companies.  Regulation is important in areas where resources are under stress but may stifle development in areas where demands on groundwater are far less than the resources available, as is true amongst much of the very low-density rural populations in Zambia.
Self-supply in urban areas is complex, many have shallow wells which are used for bulk water use (washing, bathing, household hygiene) but purchase drinking water from standpipes/ vendors or neighbours’ piped supply.  They are most often aware of the risks for drinking (via community health workers etc), but are looking to avoid carrying large volumes of water to the house (see also Liddle E, Mager S, Nel E, 2014 Case study on Ndola, Bulletin of Geography Socio-economic series).  Others with higher income, are contracting deep drilling to get better quality water in peri-urban areas, piped into the house and often shared with neighbours. There needs to be understanding of  a) the struggles people have to get convenient water as well as good quality water, b) the existing limitations of public
supplies, and c) for utilities to begin to understand urban self-supply and how to work towards its gradual replacement or incorporation into the network where safe, without leaving households worse off than where they are providing for themselves. This is a similar dilemma to that for urban sanitation where public services are yet to reach a large proportion of urban households.

Regards,
Sally
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  • SeanFurey
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

One of the things we talk about with Self-supply is the lack of data on such private water
sources, but perhaps more data exists than we think if sanitation folk are
doing sanitary surveys around latrine and FSM facilities and recording where
water points are in the vicinity? Just a thought.
 
Sean FUREY MSc FRGS
Director, RWSN Secretariat
Rural Water Supply Network(RWSN)
Skat Foundation
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  • morgan
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Hi Elisabeth,
I have just looked through the SuSanA monthly reports and saw the comments on Sally Suttons new book on self supply. Sally asked me to make a contribution about our own upgraded family well program in Zimbabwe. Self supply is an important aspect of water supply and its importance has not been sufficiently exposed and this new book will undoubtedly expose the concept far more. In your response you ask for more data to be added to the wikipedia on this subject and I am sure Sally's new ebook should be added.

You might also like to consider adding some material on our own Blair Pump, which was designed for family use but has not been well exposed on the web.

Although it was mass produced, it can be made cheaply by the handyman or handywoman from off the shelf materials. We have been using such a pump on almost a daily basis for many years. For your interest I attach an adobe which appears on our aquamor.info website.

Greetings, 

Peter
Peter Morgan
Harare, Zimbabwe
Website: www.aquamor.info
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  • morgan
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Hi Elisabeth,
You asked me (by e-mail) to explain what I meant with this statement: 
Neither Sally's book nor Richard Carter's new book mention the family Blair Pump. For families. It is simpler than the rope pump. I thought the rope pump was best for small scale irrigation. 

My answer:
About the Blair Pump, named after my mentor in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), Dr Dyson Blair, as was the Blair Toilet, (now known internationally as the VIP), the method has been copied many times. The reason - it is simple and relatively easy to make. It was designed here for family or extended family use to be constructed from off the shelf components. But it was also mass produced. It was once used here in the rural setting, as a commercially made unit. 200 were placed in Epworth, a peri-urban settlement, and used communally after an outbreak of cholera many years ago. They lasted for up to 5 years in such a setting.

It is used for shallow wells and tube wells. It is in fact simpler than the rope pump, and because water comes out of the spout under pressure, it can be fitted with a hose pipe. The parts can be obtained from hardware shops. Possibly built by a local plumber or artisan. The merit of the rope pump is that it can pump a lot of water and is useful for irrigation on a larger scale, as well as for domestic use. Many attempts have been made to make rope pumps work in Zimbabwe, but few have succeeded. Some organisations even replaced fully functional Upgraded Family Wells fitted with rope, bucket and windlass with rope pumps, which failed. There is nothing wrong at all with the rope pump. I think it is a Chinese invention. But it has its place amongst the many options available for rural water supply. Also there are several direct action hand pumps available as commercially made units. But they are usually beyond the means of poor rural families to buy. And that could also be said for the commercially made Blair Pump or other pumps.

During an era when we tried hand drilled tube wells, the bucket pump was created for use in such tube wells. It produced water of a higher quality than the Upgraded Family Well. And the pump, a tube, fitted with a non-return valve at the base was supremely simple to make. This was also mass produced. But like the Blair Pump, it could also be made by a local artisan. Simple hand operated drillings rigs can also be made locally.

However, as an experimental organisation we tried several different approaches to rural family water supply and finally used an improved version of the well-known and indigenous family well. Amongst the methods used this has been the most successful and can be further upgraded itself if the family can afford. It is very simple and copied traditional practice, an important factor.

So like all things, the Blair Pump. Rope Pump, and Bucket Pump etc etc etc has its place. Here the Zimbabwe Bush Pump is still the National Standard Hand Pump, which is Zimbabwean in origin. I think Zimbabweans are proud that something that originated in their own country is still in use today. The same could be said for any other nation. Why should not any nation, rich or poor, be proud of what it has achieved itself?

Hope this partly answers your question.

Very best wishes
Peter
Peter Morgan
Harare, Zimbabwe
Website: www.aquamor.info
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

And here's a video that Peter sent to the SuSanA secretariat for uploading to the SuSanA Youtube channel. The film shows drilling a tubewell (with a homemade drilling rig) and fitting a homemade bucket pump in Zimbabwe.

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  • Chaiwe
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Re: New book on Self-Supply - Filling the gaps in public water supply provision; and examples from Zimbabwe

Dear Sally,

I really appreciate how accurate you are with the Zambian context. When well regulated, self-supply plays a huge role in easing the role of the government and supporting stakeholders in providing water services to the community. Some of the benefits of having access to self-supply water sources include the most obvious reasons why people choose to have their water supply within their premises which include; convenience, less time spent when fetching water, and access to more water. Some people have maximised their self-supply sources to offer important added value, such as water for productive use like gardening, income generation, family safety and improved food security.

New study also reveals that the demand for self-supply is on the rise within developing communities that have for a long time depended on communal sources. This as a COVID 19 preventive measure that combats close/large gatherings (a common sight at public standpipes and kiosks within developing communities with limited water supply).

The sustainability of services from Self-supply is high as there is strong ownership by people investing in their own sources.  Self-supply has quite a huge potential in rural areas especially, and peri-urban areas as the majority of the population has limited access to water supply. Over the years numerous manual and low-tech driving innovations have set up operations in strategic locations to offer more affordable services: Read about Jacana from Zambia here as an example:  jacana.help/resources/water/  

Nice visual  Elizabeth on the drilling process using a tube well.

Regards,
Chaiwe 
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