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Published on: 30/11/2012

The actual population accessing a basic or better level of service was just 5% in Mozambique with a maximum of 73% in one piped network in Ghana. The vast majority of users across the countries had an inadequate water supply service that failed to meet country standards and norms.

The factors that lead to this situation in the four countries where WASHCost did research – Burkina Faso, Ghana India (Andhra Pradesh) and Mozambique – apply in many other developing countries and include insufficient knowledge of and provision for recurrent costs, especially those to protect existing assets (capital maintenance expenditure) and to support service providers and communities (expenditure on direct support). Those considering capital investment in rural water services should ask themselves whether capital maintenance and other recurrent costs are properly funded. If the answer is 'no' or is unclear because data is not available, then either:

  • this investment in water infrastructure will not provide the planned level of service for more than a couple of years or,
  • a shift in financial allocation priorities is required to protect their investment and sustain services over time.
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