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The effects and costs of support to community-managed handpumps in Patharpratima, West Bengal

Since 2006 Water For People has followed a programmatic approach to comprehensively address water (and sanitation) needs in Patharpratima block of West Bengal. In that it has sought to achieve universal water supply coverage in a limited number of Gram Panchayats, mainly through handpumps. In addition, institutional arrangements were put into place for community management and support to community-based water committees.This study set out to assess this support arrangement, in terms of the type and extent of support that is provided to these community-managed handpumps, the effects this has on service delivery and the resource implications. The study took place in Digambarpur Gram Panchayat, with a comparison made to the neighbouring Dakshin Gangadharpur Gram Panchayat, where the support structure was not set-up.

The study concludes that a clear support model has evolved to support community-managed handpumps, both in terms of the capital maintenance of these handpumps, as well as in the software of community management. Through that support, water committees can function and carry out basic organisational and financial management and outsource technical maintenance to Jalabandhus. As a result, everyone in Digambarpur has now access to functional handpumps – even though these provide only a basic level of service. It now costs about 0.75 US$/person/year to provide ongoing support, both for capital maintenance and for direct support whilst communities cover operation and minor costs.

TitleThe effects and costs of support to community-managed handpumps in Patharpratima, West Bengal
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSmits, S., Snehalatha, M.
Pagination55 p. : 9 fig., 9 photogr., 13 tab.
PublisherIRC
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
Keywordshandpumps
Abstract

Since 2006 Water For People has followed a programmatic approach to comprehensively address water (and sanitation) needs in Patharpratima block of West Bengal. In that it has sought to achieve universal water supply coverage in a limited number of Gram Panchayats, mainly through handpumps. In addition, institutional arrangements were put into place for community management and support to community-based water committees.This study set out to assess this support arrangement, in terms of the type and extent of support that is provided to these community-managed handpumps, the effects this has on service delivery and the resource implications. The study took place in Digambarpur Gram Panchayat, with a comparison made to the neighbouring Dakshin Gangadharpur Gram Panchayat, where the support structure was not set-up.

The study concludes that a clear support model has evolved to support community-managed handpumps, both in terms of the capital maintenance of these handpumps, as well as in the software of community management. Through that support, water committees can function and carry out basic organisational and financial management and outsource technical maintenance to Jalabandhus. As a result, everyone in Digambarpur has now access to functional handpumps – even though these provide only a basic level of service. It now costs about 0.75 US$/person/year to provide ongoing support, both for capital maintenance and for direct support whilst communities cover operation and minor costs.

Notes

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Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.