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Hidden Crisis Malawi
UPGro: A social and natural science approach to enabling
sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor
Chikondi Shaba
MScAnalyticalChemistry(UB)
NEFAmbassadorMalawi
The problem
• The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
• set a much stronger focus on sustainability and performance of water services
• highly ambitious goals to achieve universal access to safe and reliable water for
all by 2030 1
• Poor functionality of water points threatens to undermine progress
• Lack of knowledge of the reasons - difficult to recommend
improvements and take corrective action.
• Currently, there is no single accepted definition for functionality
• although organisations are working towards this as a means of tracking
progress towards the SDGs.
1. UN Water. 2013. A Post-2025 Global Goal on Water
Hidden Crisis
unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply
THE BIG IDEA
• Millions of pounds of investment by water users, charities and
tax-payers are wasted each year by water points failing soon
after construction.
• Getting a more complete understanding of how to keep water
flowing from boreholes will reduce waste and improve water
services for Africa’s poorest communities.
Hidden Crisis
unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply
RESEARCH AIM / HYPOTHESIS
• The underlying causes of rapid failure of
approximately a third of African rural
groundwater sources are complex and multi-
faceted
• But with interdisciplinary approaches
• Understood
• diagnosed
• ultimately anticipated and mitigated
Three different survey phases (2016-18)
• Survey 1 – A rapid survey of 200 hpb
• To establish data on the different levels of functionality performance.
• Survey 2 – A detailed survey of 50 hpb
• To provide detailed physical and social science datasets
• Data collated by detailed community discussions, deconstructing the water
point to examine the construction and hydrogeological properties.
• Longitudinal Studies – 6 -12 water points in Uganda and Malawi
to monitor temporal changes in:
• The use and performance of hand-pump boreholes
• useor perceptions
• the capacity of community management;
• Groundwater and rainfall levels
Survey 1
• Location map of
sampling sites of Survey
1 Malawi
• Chosen by a stratified
three-stage random
sampling design.
Survey 1: Survey methods
• At each HPB field tests were used to assess
• water quality
• Microbiology
• Yield of the supply
• Users perception of the HPB functionality performance
• Experience and capacity of community management
arrangements.
Survey 1 Results, Malawi
Working
No Flow
74%
Figure 2 – Functionality
assessed as working or not
working
Good yield
Poor yield
No Flow
66%
Figure 3 –Functionality assessed as
working with sufficient yield (10 L/min)
Fully functioning
good yield, unreliable
poor yield
poor yield , poor reliability
No Flow but worked in last year
Abandoned - no flow in last year
55%
Figure 4 –Functionality performance – sufficient yield (>10
L/min) and reliability (<30 days downtime in the last year).
Survey 2: What we did
Geology
BH Component analysis
Water Chemistry
What we found
• We are heading towards data analysis stage however, during data
collection stage, we found a few interesting things that may have an
impact on functionality of BHs
Vandalism
Poor water quality
Poor maintenance
Silting up of BHsPoor downhole conditions
Governance problems
What happens next
• We are yet to do data analysis, compile results, make reports and disseminate
the findings
• As for me – I am still involved in the study
• I am a full time lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at University of Malawi
• Hoping to have a successful NEF Africa Science Week this September
• PhD on my mind
Malawi country team
• Sella Jumbo WaterAid Malawi
• Mr Prince Mleta Deputy Director of Water Resources for
the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and
Water Development
• Evance Mwathunga University of Malawi
• Theresa Mkandawire University of Malawi
• Sembeyawo Banda University of Malawi
• Patrick Makuluni University of Malawi
Hidden Crisis Malawi – UPGro: A social and natural science approach to enabling sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor
Hidden Crisis Malawi – UPGro: A social and natural science approach to enabling sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor

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Hidden Crisis Malawi – UPGro: A social and natural science approach to enabling sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor

  • 1. Hidden Crisis Malawi UPGro: A social and natural science approach to enabling sustainable use of groundwater for the benefit of the poor Chikondi Shaba MScAnalyticalChemistry(UB) NEFAmbassadorMalawi
  • 2. The problem • The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) • set a much stronger focus on sustainability and performance of water services • highly ambitious goals to achieve universal access to safe and reliable water for all by 2030 1 • Poor functionality of water points threatens to undermine progress • Lack of knowledge of the reasons - difficult to recommend improvements and take corrective action. • Currently, there is no single accepted definition for functionality • although organisations are working towards this as a means of tracking progress towards the SDGs. 1. UN Water. 2013. A Post-2025 Global Goal on Water
  • 3. Hidden Crisis unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply THE BIG IDEA • Millions of pounds of investment by water users, charities and tax-payers are wasted each year by water points failing soon after construction. • Getting a more complete understanding of how to keep water flowing from boreholes will reduce waste and improve water services for Africa’s poorest communities.
  • 4. Hidden Crisis unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply RESEARCH AIM / HYPOTHESIS • The underlying causes of rapid failure of approximately a third of African rural groundwater sources are complex and multi- faceted • But with interdisciplinary approaches • Understood • diagnosed • ultimately anticipated and mitigated
  • 5. Three different survey phases (2016-18) • Survey 1 – A rapid survey of 200 hpb • To establish data on the different levels of functionality performance. • Survey 2 – A detailed survey of 50 hpb • To provide detailed physical and social science datasets • Data collated by detailed community discussions, deconstructing the water point to examine the construction and hydrogeological properties. • Longitudinal Studies – 6 -12 water points in Uganda and Malawi to monitor temporal changes in: • The use and performance of hand-pump boreholes • useor perceptions • the capacity of community management; • Groundwater and rainfall levels
  • 6. Survey 1 • Location map of sampling sites of Survey 1 Malawi • Chosen by a stratified three-stage random sampling design.
  • 7. Survey 1: Survey methods • At each HPB field tests were used to assess • water quality • Microbiology • Yield of the supply • Users perception of the HPB functionality performance • Experience and capacity of community management arrangements.
  • 8. Survey 1 Results, Malawi Working No Flow 74% Figure 2 – Functionality assessed as working or not working Good yield Poor yield No Flow 66% Figure 3 –Functionality assessed as working with sufficient yield (10 L/min) Fully functioning good yield, unreliable poor yield poor yield , poor reliability No Flow but worked in last year Abandoned - no flow in last year 55% Figure 4 –Functionality performance – sufficient yield (>10 L/min) and reliability (<30 days downtime in the last year).
  • 9. Survey 2: What we did Geology BH Component analysis Water Chemistry
  • 10. What we found • We are heading towards data analysis stage however, during data collection stage, we found a few interesting things that may have an impact on functionality of BHs Vandalism Poor water quality Poor maintenance Silting up of BHsPoor downhole conditions Governance problems
  • 11. What happens next • We are yet to do data analysis, compile results, make reports and disseminate the findings • As for me – I am still involved in the study • I am a full time lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at University of Malawi • Hoping to have a successful NEF Africa Science Week this September • PhD on my mind
  • 12. Malawi country team • Sella Jumbo WaterAid Malawi • Mr Prince Mleta Deputy Director of Water Resources for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development • Evance Mwathunga University of Malawi • Theresa Mkandawire University of Malawi • Sembeyawo Banda University of Malawi • Patrick Makuluni University of Malawi

Editor's Notes

  1. Poor functionality of water points threatens to undermine progress, and a lack of knowledge of the reasons behind this makes it difficult to recommend improvements and take corrective action. As a first step it is necessary to be able to reliably monitor current rates of functionality and to have a clear benchmark as to what constitutes a functional water point. Currently, there is no single accepted definition for functionality, although organisations are working towards this as a means of tracking progress towards the SDGs.
  2. Millions of pounds of investment by water users, charities and tax-payers are wasted each year by water points failing soon after construction. Getting a more complete understanding of how to keep water flowing from boreholes will reduce waste and improve water services for Africa’s poorest communities.
  3. are being undertaken over two years to collect a significant evidence base, which can be used to develop a more detailed understanding of the causes of poor functionality within the three countries.
  4. The domain to be sampled comprised those Districts across Malawi   where sampling was deemed practicable by WaterAid. There are 27 districts in Malawi and 10 were regarded as feasible to sample . Districts were used as primary sample units and five were randomly chosen from the ten guided by two strata defined with respect to poverty (above or below Malawian median).  Communities were then randomly chosen from within each District selected in the primary sampling phase. When arriving at a community, all boreholes equipped with hand pumps installed in the community were listed and one randomly chosen to sample. Only boreholes equipped with handpumps were considered.
  5. The ‘Basic’ and ‘Snapshot’ assessments reflect the requirements of national survey assessments, whilst the more performance-focussed definitions are more relevant to local or regional surveys looking to track the functionality of individual water points or programmes through time   Functionality performance level       % pass Basic – working (yes/no) 74 Snapshot – provides sufficient yield (10 L/min) 66 Functionality performance – sufficient yield and reliability (<30 days downtime in last year) 55   Functionality including water quality (passes WHO inorganic parameters, and TTC) 43
  6. Dismantled ~50 BHs in 3 Districts of Malawi BH component analysis Pumping/recovery test Water field chemistry BH CCTV Geological Survey Interviews with the communities