Skip to main content
  • Help
  • Map
  • Main
  • BLOG ARCHIVES

    Reflections from Blantyre, Malawi


    In 2009, Water For People entered into an agreement with Blantyre Water Board (BWB) to provide facilitation services for an investment totaling just over $5million received as a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a grant from the European Union to the BWB to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions in the 21 Low Income Areas (LIAs) of Blantyre.  Access issues had persisted since the late 1990s, when there were an alarming number of disconnections of community-managed water kiosks in peri-urban Blantyre due to non-payment of water bills to BWB.  Party-politicization of water was another serious issue, with frequent cases of kiosk and water revenue being controlled by political parties.  In some cases, politicians ensured water kiosks constructed were on plots of land belonging to party loyalists.  Relevant public authorities with full jurisdiction to act succumbed to ruling party pressures as it was safer to not to act.

    In a bid to solve this water crisis, Water For People–Malawi, in partnership with BWB, facilitated the establishment of a Water Users Association in the pilot area of Nkolokoti-Kachere in 2009.  The idea was to empower communities to manage the water supply, and also create a sustainable business model.  By focusing resources on consensus building (with political actors), knowledge sharing, mobilization and advocacy, the WUA was able to overcome a situation of intense corruption, disrepair, vandalism and near-total service disruption. By December 2009, the Nkolokoti-Kachere WUA had settled all its outstanding bills with BWB and since has not experienced supply disruptions for non-payment of bills.

    The model is being scaled up across all 21 peri-urban areas of Blantyre, through co-financing from BWB leveraged from EU/EIB, which will see an additional 363 new kiosks being constructed. Water For People–Malawi, in partnership with BWB, has facilitated the establishment of eight Water Users Associations (WUAs) to manage water kiosks across the 17 of the 21 LIAs of peri-urban Blantyre.  WUAs empower communities to manage the water supply, and also create a sustainable business model.  A WUA sells water to people through communal water kiosks (usually between 25 to 50 per WUA), where people purchase by-the-bucket water from sellers. Water For People–Malawi establishes the WUA and provides it with the technical (water point maintenance and repair), financial (tariff development and financial accountability), and human resource skills necessary to manage the water system. Water For People-Malawi also helps the WUA to set up a contract with the Blantyre Water Board (BWB), so that the WUA is responsible for paying the BWB for all the water piped to the water kiosks under its management. Because the WUA is paying for the water, it is in its best interests to ensure that the water points are well maintained (no leakages or outages) and serving the community, so that it can continue to make a profit.
    • malawi
    • malawi-blog
    • blog
    Shared with everybody (public)

    Viewed 1,724 times

    Muthi
    • Added by
      Muthi
      Feb 21, 2013 6:40 PM

      Updated
      Feb 21, 2013 7:15 PM

      Viewed 1,724 times

    32 of 73

    of 73
    Go
    1. Blog Entry

    The Naked Truth on Marketing Sanitation

    1. Blog Entry

    The Naked Truth About Collecting Water at 2AM... Or Not

    1. Skoll Forum

    Skoll Forum

    1. Blog Entry

    Daring to be Great at Skoll

    1. Blog Entry

    The Jalabandhu Keep Water Flowing in India

    1. Blog Entry

    FLOW Update

    1. Blog Entry

    Guest Blog: Transparency. Accountability. Impact.

    1. File

    Accountability

    1. Blog Entry

    The Naked Truth about Microfinance Loans

    1. "Successful" Microfinance Loan Impact?

    "Successful" Microfinance Loan Impact?

    1. Ned Breslin runs to a latrine paid for with a microfinance loan

    Ned Breslin runs to a latrine paid for with a microfinance loan

    1. Blog Entry

    Everyone means EVERYONE!

    1. Blog Entry

    Everyone, Forever: Learning from the Chinda Experience

    1. Blog Entry

    The Naked Truth about Increasing Water Access

    1. Blog Entry

    The Future of FLOW

    1. Guatemala

    Guatemala

    1. Blog Entry

    Sanitation Can't Always Wait for Another NGO

    1. Blog Entry

    Everyone Defined

    1. Blog Entry

    Making Aid Really Transparent

    1. Blog Entry

    When Fund-Raising and Program Goals Clash

    1. Blog Entry

    Investing in Everyone, Today and Tomorrow

    1. Blog Entry

    What a Workout in the Gym Tells Me about Monitoring our Work

    1. India Report Card

    India Report Card