Title: Community water system infrastructure assessment in rural Uganda

Authors: Neil C. Mirochnick; Tess A. Russo

Addresses: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 420 W 118th St. New York, NY 10027, USA ' Columbia Water Center, Columbia University, 500 W 120th St. New York, NY 10027, USA; Department of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 310 Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: In 2012, the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) and its partners launched the Ruhiira Community Water Supply Project (CWSP) providing piped water to ∼5,400 people (82% of the local population). The sustainability of water systems across Africa is known to be woefully inadequate and in response the CWSP was built using a full-systems approach, considering system design from source to distribution, local economics, maintenance and adaptability. In 2013, the CWSP served the expected number of people; however, consumption was only 15% of the year-one prediction, based on the 20 L/d/person millennium development goal water access indicator. Consumption was a major determinant of financial sustainability and the CWSP operated at a loss during its first two years of operation. The CWSP reduced community members' distance to a clean water source and had a small impact on socio-economic activities, but did not lead to clear public health benefits.

Keywords: water infrastructure; rural development; poverty alleviation; Millennium Villages Project; MVP; monitoring; performance evaluation; rural communities; Uganda; piped water; water consumption; financial sustainability; clean water sources; socio-economic activities; public health benefits; drinking water; water quality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJW.2016.079702

International Journal of Water, 2016 Vol.10 No.4, pp.359 - 374

Received: 26 Feb 2014
Accepted: 01 Mar 2015

Published online: 10 Oct 2016 *

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