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TitleThe financial sustainability of drinking water services : the case of Zorgho, Burkina Faso : paper presented at the IRC symposium ‘ Pumps, Pipes and Promises: Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services' in The Hague, The Netherlands
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsZoungrana, D
Pagination14 p.; 8 refs.; 7 fig.; 4 tab.
Date Published2010-11-16
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Keywordsburkina faso, burkina faso zorgho, rural areas, urban areas, water supply services

The funding of water services delivery in rural and semi-urban areas is twofold encompassing the creation and development of infrastructure; and the operation and maintenance of the water schemes and customer management. In Burkina Faso, public action in the field of drinking water supply is supported by bilateral or multilateral aid through various channels such as ministries, local authorities and international non-governmental organisations (INGO). Burkina Faso has adopted the program approach to assess financing needs. Funding for building and developing drinking water supply facilities is ensured by the following four key sources in decreasing order of importance : development aid (subsidies and loans); state budget; internal funds (local authorities, private sector); users' contribution to the investment. It is hard to assess all the financial flows as the data originate from various sources. The statistical monitoring mechanisms as a result are inefficient. In the field of capital expenditure, the financing needs for drinking water supply and sanitation during the decade 2005-2015 have been summarized in a single document. The total cost of the National Plan for Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation in Burkina Faso (PNAEPA) is estimated at €829 million (€620 million for rural areas, € 209 million for urban areas). With regard to service delivery, the strategy for implementing the drinking water supply policy in rural areas and semi-urban areas in Burkina Faso indicates that tariffs will have to cover the costs of operation and maintenance, customer management as well as the renewal of the infrastructure which has been amortized within the ten-year period. As a social adjustment, tariffs are cross subsidized between the institutional and commercial consumers and households. The experience of Zorgho, a small town located at 110 km from Ouagadougou, shows that the “development fund” is a dynamic tool to increase water access and the sustainability of water services.’ In a five-year period, access to water services has increased from 25% to 58% using a fund collected at system level to develop the network and household connections. Four key lessons can be learned throughout the water service delivery in Zorgho: the involvement of local governments has improved the effectiveness and the alignment of interventions in rural and semi-urban areas; financial flows need to be increased towards local level in order to allow local government to play its role; the “development fund” collected at system level and its wise use could increase the financial sustainability of drinking water services in semi-urban areas. [authors abstract]

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