Punjab, Pakistan. Provision o community standpipes atselected but convenient locations may have been moreappropriate to reach out to this segment o beneciaries.
Health outcomes should be realistically established.
Baseline data (i.e., at the individual, household, andcommunity levels) should be utilized as benchmarks to setrealistic improvementtargets. Good baselinedata and realistic targetscan help steer projectimplementation towardachieving expected results.Without such benchmarks,the monitoring o projectimplementation mayace difculties, and themeasurement o outcomesand impacts that can be attributed to a project can be elusive.For example, the cited rural water supply projects in thePhilippines and Bangladesh had ailed to provide appropriatebaseline indicators or measuring improved public health. This has resulted in difculties in measuring the impact o theprojects on public health.
The supply o sae water should be appropriatelymaintained to sustain health benefts.
Water shortagescan undermine the sustainability o health benets o WSSprojects. Ideally, a water system should be able to meet theneeds o a community or at least 10 years beore requiringa large-scale expansion. In this regard, WSS project designsshould include demand orecasts that take into accountpopulation growth projections to minimize risks o watershortages. Conducting groundwater investigations, over aperiod o time to determine variations in yield and rechargerates, could also prevent water shortages. An eective waterdemand management, coupled with public awarenesscampaigns, can also serve as a cost-eective alternative towater supply expansion, particularly in water-scarce areas.Much can be learned rom the Philippine experience in the
A D B P h o t o L i b r a r y
A D B P h o t oL i b r a r y
A woman collects water sample or checking and testing in one o the waterdistribution points in the People’s Republic o China.
late 1990s. Due to water abstraction beyond thereplenishment rate, communities suered rom watershortages during the dry season. In some cases, water supplyacilities were abandoned as a result o over-abstractiono water.
Improving the delivery o sae water entails capacitybuilding o stakeholders and benefciaries, and requirespartnership with appropriate organizations.
Eectivesolutions to problems can oten be delivered throughacquisition o knowledge and practical skills. For example,cases o high-level bacteriological contamination, both at thewater source and distributionpoints, can be prevented withproper training on simplechlorination and other basicwater treatment methods.Further, increasing demandor sanitation—by establishinga unctional partnershipwith community-basedorganizations, nongovernmentorganizations, and private sector entities—can help reduce or eliminate sanitary hazards at watersources. Implementation o appropriate operation andmaintenance systems has been proven to contribute tothe delivery o sae water. This entails enhancement o commitment and ownership among the beneciariesthrough, among others, eective social mobilization,ormation o community-level water users’ associations,cash and labor contributions, designation o operationand maintenance responsibility, and provision o appropriatetraining thereto. For example, the lack o recognition bypublic ofcials o the importance o community involvementled to the poor achievement o outcomes in the rst ruralWSS project in Indonesia. Ater almost 4 years ater projectcompletion, most o the water supply and sanitation acilitieswere abandoned or not unctioning as originally intended. These problems were primarily due to poor maintenanceand the inability o communities to pay or the operationand maintenance o the acilities.
Good baseline dataand realistic targetscan help steer project implementationtoward achievingexpected results.Efective solutionsto problems canoten be delivered through acquisitiono knowledge and practical skills.
Many residents in the southern Philippine island o Mindanao do not haveeasy access to potable water in their homes. The Mindanao Agrarian ReormCommunities Project—unded by ADB—is helping change that.