Carlos Linares: Presentation on safe water at IRD event at Emory University


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Presented by Carlos Linares, Senior Program Officer, Infrastructure, IRD -- at conference at Emory University on Sept. 30, 2010

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Carlos Linares: Presentation on safe water at IRD event at Emory University

  1. 1. Access to Safe Water: Challenges, Trends, and Transitions Prepared for: Emory University Conference Prepared by: Carlos Linares, Senior Program Officer, IRD Infrastructure September 30, 2010,
  2. 2. Access to safe water No access means: • An un-protected spring or dug well; • Cart with small tank/drum; • Tanker truck; • Surface water (rivers, lakes, streams, irrigation channels, etc) • Bottled water (of unknown quality)
  3. 3. Challenges, Trends and Transitions • Population Growth, Poverty and Service Deficits • Urbanization • Decentralization and Participation • Privatization and the “Other” Private Sector • Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water • A Community Compact: Harnessing an un- tapped potential
  4. 4. Population Growth, Poverty and Service Deficits • 1 billion people don’t have access to safe water; • 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation; • Two million children die every year as a result of diarrhea; • The majority of the world's population living in urban areas; • One billion urban dwellers are poor and living in slums. • By 2030, 5 billion urban dwellers (60 per cent of the world’s population); • A third of these will continue living in poverty; • Progress made will be offset by population growth.
  5. 5. Urbanization • Cities have continued to grow at a fast pace; • Urban environmental degradation = poor governance; • Transition of government’s role — from “doer” to “regulator” — much more difficult than previously anticipated • Poverty and lack of services an “institutional” problem.
  6. 6. Decentralization and Participation • Decentralization: increased role for local governments and increased opportunities for civil society; • NGO’s are the leaders in designing & implementing participatory development processes; • The case of FUNDASAL (1970 to 1978)
  7. 7. Privatization • Well-publicized fiascos and derailments of privatization reduced multinational’s plans for investment in developing countries; • Public sector utilities and/or private sector utilities/multinationals don’t serve the poor anyway; • Service deficits have created opportunities for neighborhood groups and the “other” private sector to fill the gaps left by government authorities and multinationals.
  8. 8. The “Other” Private Sector • Entrepreneurs managing piped networks in agreement with utilities; • Independent entrepreneurs managing piped networks with their own sources (registered / licensed as well as unregistered / unlicensed); • Carters or water carriers who deliver water by the jerrycan, and by different means (handcarts, push-carts, push- bikes, wagons, donkey carts, bicycles, tricycles, trolleys) • Cooperatives managing piped networks with independent sources of water;
  9. 9. The “Other” Private Sector • Private well and or borehole owner-operators with independent water sources, where bulk water is sold to mobile vendors; • Residential resellers, selling water through garden hose or garden faucet, domestic taps, elevated tanks or cisterns; • Community-built and operated piped networks with independent water sources; • Community-managed kiosks/stand posts selling water to resellers or individuals.
  10. 10. Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water Despite many operational constraints: • lack of understanding, lack of recognition, hostile attitude from police/bribes; • lack of secure tenure, no collateral; • lack of access to capital, lack of access to credit; • Lack of access to the law, in legal limbo, no support from regulations SSPs are thriving – water business is good business! However… The water sold by SSPs is not guaranteed to be safe for human consumption. Is the solution to kill-off “the other private sector” already serving the poor?
  11. 11. Harnessing an un-tapped potential via Community Compact • An approach that merges top- down and bottom-up; • Barriers need to be eliminated and incentives need to be introduced via a Community Compact. The Compact will: • a) eliminate barriers (lack of access to the law, and financial resources, among others); and • b) introduce incentives (to ensure that water being sold is safe for human consumption).
  12. 12. Thank you