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Report assessing level of compliance with regulations in eight communes of the Sahel region.

This report assesses level of compliance of local management structures with the regulations and their capacity to fulfil their operational role in eight communes of the Sahel region.

The communes have to coordinate actions, set prices and provide support, particularly to the water user associations.

Sustainable access to safe water in rural areas remains a major challenge in a large part of Africa. Rural Burkina Faso is no exception and the water access indicators remain low (58.5% in rural areas, Direction Générale des Ressources en Eau (DGRE), 2010), despite efforts made by the sector. A reform of rural water services has been ongoing since 2008 in the Sahel Region. It places responsibility for water supply services upon the local government (Commune).

The reform also initiates the operational framework for managing water infrastructure at village level through water-user associations and private operators. In this context, the Triple-S initiative focuses on the existing institutions and the regulatory framework governing them. The communes have to coordinate actions, set prices and provide support, particularly to the water-user associations.

The commune must officialise its relationship with the water-user associations, the operators and repairmen, and monitor all contracts. It must also set the tariffs within its jurisdiction (fees, price of water at the pump) and estimate the support it requires while meeting the needs of the water-user associations. The regulatory framework also specifies the duties of these associations. They fulfil three functions, coordinating pump managers and repairmen, and financial management, i.e. collecting fees and the remuneration of service providers. A third function which is not identified as such in the framework but which constitutes a cross-cutting role, involves representing the users.

This report presents the contextual elements, the methodology and the analysis table used to assess the institutions’ level of compliance with the regulations and their capacity to fulfil their operational role. It analyses management structure and organisational and operational compliance with the regulatory framework. It covers eight communes of the Sahel region responsible for overall service management, and 210 water-user associations responsible for operating handpumps, in order to i) identify appropriate support actions and ii) propose potential adjustments to management scales where positions are not functioning.

IRC supports the improvement of water-service monitoring in the context of the Triple-S project, a component of USAID’s water and sanitation programme, WA-WASH.

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