Evaluation report of a potable water project in Luwero district
Background This evaluation study was carried out by Carl Bro International from 16th May to 15th June 2001. The objective of the project was to provide the rural population of Luwero with easy access to potable water within 500 meters from their homes. The goal was to drill 50 boreholes and install handpumps over a three-year period from 1999 - 2001. Altogether 3865 families in 19 parishes were expected to benefit from the project. The Project involved local communities and various levels of local authorities at all stages of planning, implementation and monitoring. 39 boreholes have been drilled by the time of the evaluation and the remaining 11 boreholes are to be drilled in the second half of 2001. 36 out of the 39 boreholes drilled have been installed - the other three are low yielding and awaiting hydrofracturing so as to increase the yield. In total the boreholes are serving approximately 2,783 families, which is 72% of target. Average per capita consumption is 14 litres per person per day, which is below the Ministry of Health recommended consumption of 20 litres per person per day. All the 36 installed sources are functioning properly with only seven of them having ever broken down; repairs were carried out by subcounty-based handpump mechanics. It is important to note that all these boreholes are less than two years old and as they "age" more frequent breakdowns may be experienced. PLAN has however put in place an institutional framework for O&M comprising of Water User Committees who are overall responsible for O&M including collection of O&M funds. Hand Pump Mechanics carry out the repairs and there is a spare parts dealer based in Luwero town, users can therefore get access to spares when need arises. Every source has a caretaker who is responsible for the hygienic maintenance of the source, and is supposed to report any technical fault to the committee. Project approach is to have all the WUCs trained by the Community based trained trainers (TOTs) who were trained through the project. All the TOTs were trained, however only 61% of the WUCs were found to have been trained. The TOTs were also supposed to have carried out community trainings but out of the sampled communities none reported that they had received the training/visits from the TOTs. The TOTs have also not been facilitated and no support follow up by PLAN staff was reported carried out. Purpose/objective The purpose of the evaluation was to:1. To assess the degree of accomplishment of the stated objectives.2. To review the project implementation and especially the extent to which the activities as specified in the original agreement have been implemented.3. To identify general areas and important strategies and modalities where further action is required and if necessary recommend appropriate actions to be taken.4. To assess the mode and effect of collaboration with local authorities Methodology Information was collected in a number of ways, in order to include as many sources as possible, and to balance quantitative with qualitative information. Information gathering methodologies included a District workshop, household socio-economic survey, and interviews with key informants (water users committee members, PLAN staff, hand pump mechanics etc.), Participatory Rural Appraisal meetings in parishes, all installed water sources were visited and inspected. Key findings - To a great extent the intended distance reduction was achieved with 75% of the users collecting water within the targeted 500metres this leaves out 25% who are travelling beyond this targeted distance. Though time is reported saved in comparison to the situation before provision of boreholes, 44% spend more than 30 minutes on water collection, due to the long queues at the source. - More than 90% of the people-using PLAN provided sources are satisfied with both the yield and quality. The satisfaction is further expressed through acknowledgement of benefits from PLAN, which include improved health through use of clean safe water. - The project has promoted equal access and management by men, women girl, children and boy children. 33% of the members of Water Users Committees are female which is in line with the National gender Policy. - The users are fully responsible for operation and maintenance but lack full confidence in themselves and still think that some of the major decisions like re-election of committees should be done by others outside their communities, like PLAN. - Findings indicated a high level of knowledge on hygiene behaviours but the practice was found to be poor (as an example 55% were not observing the safe water chain). Discussions with PLAN official revealed that the problem of slow response in behaviour change has been recognised as one of the major challenges for the programme. To this effect Community-based Resource Persons (CORPS) have been recruited (one per parish) and their role is to sensitise communities on all health related aspects e.g. sanitation and hygiene, immunisation, nutrition, AIDS etc. To address the problem of hygiene in schools, PLAN is producing a hygiene promotion booklet focusing mainly on school children, which will be distributed to all PLAN supported schools. Overall the project was well implemented (initial mobilisation and training of communities, and siting and construction of boreholes) but there was no mechanism put in place for follow up after main project implementation. Recommendations There is need to provide more boreholes to increase accessibility of water to the users and reduce crowding around the boreholes, this will lead to reduction in time for water collection and contribute to access to larger quantities of water. Although all the boreholes installed are functioning very well there is need to institute a monitoring system to ensure the O&M system continues functioning and be strengthened where weaknesses are detected by the monitoring system. The efforts by PLAN to promote health improvements through CORPS and schools are highly appreciated and the review consultant recommends that continued sensitisation is paramount, however, since knowledge on health effects seems high but practice is low other marketing strategies should be used. Hygiene promotion should be modified to focus on the relationship between the benefits, the diseases, the family incomes and expenditures i.e. "Improved sanitation is wealth". TOTs and CORPs should plan together to avoid duplication and maximise services to the community. As part of post construction activities PLAN should put in place a monitoring system, which ensures info on the status of these sources, behaviour related to use and management of the water supplies, and needed follow up actions. There is need to form new committees for every source based on actual users as these will have commitment to the sources, follow-ups emphasis should be put on empowering communities to take and implement decisions where necessary.