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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

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

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  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Thank you