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Increasing repair and maintenance funds leads to higher borehole functionality and water access rates in the drought-prone regions of Turkana, Kenya and Afar, Ethiopia by 2030 in simulated outcomes.

TitleTurn up the dial : system dynamics modeling of resource allocations toward rural water supply maintenance in East Africa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsLibey, A, Chintalapati, P, Kathuni, S, Amadei, B, Thomas, E
Secondary TitleJournal of environmental engineering
Pagination1-10 : 5 fig., 3 tab. + supplemental materials [1 MB]
Date Published01/2022

Water stress is increasingly affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world. In East Africa, severe and persistent drought periods negatively impact health and livelihoods. Drought increases reliance on mechanized boreholes to extract groundwater. However, without adequate resource allocations, effective monitoring of borehole functionality, and reliable maintenance service, breakdown rates increase and downtimes last many months. Our study applies system dynamics modeling to investigate the effects of allocating resources to borehole maintenance and repair in the Afar Region in Ethiopia and Turkana County in Kenya. We inform model calibration with runtime and functionality estimates derived from sensors installed on 245 boreholes and apply sensitivity analyses varying budget allocations to optimize for functionality. We conclude that increasing the borehole repair and maintenance budgets in Turkana from the current 30% to 85% of available budgets could result in an additional 83 working boreholes and 95% functionality in 2030. In Afar, increasing maintenance budgets from 38% to 79% could result in functionality levels of 75% by 2030, well above currently projected levels of 54%. [author abstract]


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