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  • Bill Twyman

WaterAid – An Assessment of Management Arrangements for Water Supply an Onsite Sanitation Services across Southern Africa

High non-functionality and slippage rates are critical factors impeding progress towards universal access to water supply and sanitation services by 2030, especially in rural and small-town contexts. In many cases, the reliance on weak or un-professionalised management arrangements based on unsupported community- or household-based management is a central factor in service levels deteriorating. However, in many countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, more professionalised management arrangements for water supply and sanitation services have been developed, often providing users with better services and helping to address key sustainability challenges.

Within this context, WaterAid commissioned Aguaconsult to research management arrangements for water supply and onsite sanitation services in rural and small-town contexts across six Southern African countries: Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zambia. This study provided a typology of the different management arrangements in place and enabled the determination of best practices and recommendations across several areas, including monitoring and regulation, financing, maintenance and repairs, and asset ownership. The study’s results are now principally being used by WaterAid policy teams across Southern Africa to advocate for a variety of measures to strengthen management arrangements.


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