Challenges of Water Well Drillers & Water Well Drillers Associations

Case Studies of Six Countries Angola, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda and United States of America


The 2019 RWSN directory of rural water supply services, tariffs, management models and lifecycle costs

Le répertoire RWSN 2019 des services, tarifs, modes de gestion et coûts globaux d'approvisionnement en eau rurale


Safe Water: monitoring, data and decisions

Une eau potable gérée en toute sécurité: surveillance, données, décisions


RWSN Publications - now on Practical Answers

RWSN Publications - maintenant sur Practical Answers


24.02.2020 - 27.02.2020

AfWA Congress 20th African Water Association Congress • Kampala, Uganda

The African Water Association (AfWA), is a professional association of establishments, enterprises and utilities operating in the areas of drinking water, sanitation and environment in Africa. AfWA has over 100 utilities members from over 40 countries across Africa As part of the mechanisms to enhance the exchange of ideas and recent developments in the water and sanitation sector, AfWA holds an International Congress and Exhibition every two years. | »

News • Announcements


Would you like to be mentored? Would you like to be a mentor? Aimeriez-vous devenir le mentor d’un jeune professionnel? Aimeriez-vous avoir un mentor?

In 2020, thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and World Vision, RWSN is launching a mentoring programme, aimed at matching young professionals under the age of 35 with more senior professionals in the water sector. The aim of this scheme is to help develop the new generation of water experts, and to ensure the knowledge and experience acquired by senior members of the RWSN community is not lost. This follows our first RWSN mentoring programme in 2019, where we matched 240 young professionals with senior experts from our network. The requirements for being a mentor or a mentee are as follows: - Mentees: mentees (junior professionals) should be under the age of 35 at the time of signing up for the mentoring scheme. There is no level of experience required. Students are welcome to take part. - Mentors: There is no age requirement for mentors (senior professionals), but they should have a minimum of 5-7 years of professional experience in the water sector. We are looking for a range of mentors with different levels of experience and a variety of skills, so don’t hesitate to apply even if you feel that you may not be ‘senior’ enough. - We strongly encourage women to sign up both as mentors and mentees. There are not enough women in the water sector, and in our network in general – and we would like this to change! As always, feel free to contact the RWSN Secretariat for more information, and please share this opportunity with young or senior colleagues who may be interested. | »


Rural water champions- Needed now more than ever! Les champions de l'eau en milieu rural : plus que jamais nécessaires !

Word from the Chair: Kelly Anne Naylor, UNICEF While we are making progress, we are not at the last mile nor the finish line yet- Rural water champions are needed now more than ever! Fundamentally, rural water supply is about ensuring the human right to water, leaving no one behind. While global trends show a trend towards urbanization, people living in rural areas continue to make up the large majority with no services at all and overall lower levels of service. Greater attention and deliberate action to close the gaps on inequalities between rural and urban and rich and poorest populations, and better address threats that a changing climate and water scarcity pose to rural water supply. Beyond a human survival need, we need to make a stronger case that safe, sustainable and affordable water supply is an essential part of vibrant rural economy and standard of living. On recent field visits in Chad, Yemen, Niger, Mauritania, Ethiopia, and Myanmar, I saw firsthand how innovations in solar pumping for piped water supply networks are catalysts bringing not only higher levels of service through household water connections- eliminating long distances and waiting times at water points, but also creating quality jobs, local entrepreneurship, and power supply to communities- benefits far beyond the water itself. After three years as RWSN chair, my term is coming to an end. This has been a dynamic time in the network with development of the RWSN strategy 2018-2023, updated Governance document, new initiative on Young Professionals, and continued active engagement with network members through webinar series, publications, and e-discussions. It has been an immense pleasure to work so closely with the highly talented and committed RWSN Secretariat team- Sean, Kerstin, Meleesa, Sandra, Elodie. Also, I would like to express sincere appreciation to Skat Foundation for being stable and continuously supportive hosts and to SDC for the long-term partnership and financial support to RWSN. The Steering Committee and Theme leaders truly bring together some of the greatest professionals in the rural water community that serve the sector in a spirit of collaboration, technical excellence and of course fun! Last but not least, I want to Thank You – the members of RWSN who are the beating hearts of rural water supply, serving courageously in countries and communities around the world, working with dedication and passion to progressively advance the quality and scale of rural water services for the most vulnerable population. As the baton will pass to a new chair in 2020, THANK YOU once again for sharing this rural water journey and I am looking forward to actively participating in RWSN as one of over 10,000 rural water champions- la lutte continue! | »


Leaving no one behind in rural areas is about more than drinking water supplies Ne laisser personne de côté dans les zones rurales, c’est plus qu’une question d’approvisionnement en eau potable.

Word from the Chair: Kelly Ann Naylor, UNICEF & Dr Kerstin Danert, Skat The theme of the 2019 World Water Day, the United Nations World Water Development Report the World Water Week in Stockholm and the early 2019 RWSN webinar series was ‘Leaving No One Behind’. What do these words actually mean, and what are the implications for us rural water practitioners, as well as those funding the programmes and projects that we implement? ‘Leave No One Behind’ is stated in the UN General Assembly Resolution 70/1 entitled: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Leave no one behind calls upon us to find out who has been excluded from service provision, decision-making and development; to find out why; to explore what can be done and to take action to ensure that people who have been marginalised in the past are included now, and in the future. Secondly, it is about joining hands across disciplines and ‘development themes’ to address gaps. Let me try to illustrate the first point with a fictitious example: “Country X has witnessed rapid economic growth over the last two decades, leading to substantial improvements in the wealth and living standards of people in three of the country’s five regions. Meanwhile, the lives of the majority of people in the other two, predominantly rural regions have barely changed over fifty years. A sizable proportion of the population there are still living in extreme poverty and have no safety net. The gap in wealth between different parts of the country has widened, and, to make matters worse, the poorest people in the poorest regions have little voice, or influence in decision-making at national level. Leave no one behind calls upon government and partners, as well as funders to understand why these two regions have remained marginalised, to explore what can be done to address the imbalance, and to take action. Addressing spatial (geographical) inequalities as shown in the above example is just one example of taking action to leave no one behind. Depending on the context, inequalities manifest themselves in many dimensions, including, but not limited to gender, ability, age, ethnicity, cast and remoteness. There may also be overlaps. The second point, about joining hands and working across development themes is well illustrated in the interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practitioners may focus on SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, but drinking water is directly embedded within SDG 1 – No Poverty (basic services), SDG 5 – Gender Equality (time spent on unpaid domestic and care work and women in managerial positions) and SDG 4 – Quality Education (WASH in schools). These are all just as important as SDG 6. This point was also highlighted in a recent evaluation of the Rural Water Supply programme of UNICEF: if we are to ensure that no one is left behind and fundamentally tackle rural poverty, we, as rural water practitioners need to consider move beyond the confines of drinking water and ‘the WASH world’. To transform people’s lives, water infrastructures need to cater for a wider spectrum of rural needs – domestic supply, household gardens, rural businesses and rural transformation as well as drinking water. We must address gender issues so that women and children no longer ‘do the work of a pipe’ as they spend large parts of their lives hauling water over long distances. We must ensure that people with disabilities are able to meet their water needs and lead dignified lives. By the end of 2019, UNICEF will publish new guidance on equity in WASH. We hope that this will not only contribute to the efforts that you are already undertaking, but that it can inspire you to do even more to address inequalities. In the meantime, start asking questions about who is being left behind, as well as why and what can be done. Moreover, consider reaching out to colleagues and friends working on rural transformation, gender transformation, nutrition and education to see if there are ways that you can work together to leave no one behind in rural areas. | »


2018 Annual Report - out now

The focus for the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) in 2018 was the approval, by the RWSN Executive Steering Committee, and subsequent launch of the new RWSN Strategy (2018-2023); renewal of the co-funding agreement with SDC, and the development of the RWSN Young Professional Engagement strategy. The RWSN Executive Steering Committee also started a review of RWSN’s governance arrangements as recommended by the 2017 external evaluation of the network. Membership of the network continued to grow - from 10,082 to 10,883 between January and December 2018, an increase of 8%. RWSN also organised a number of thematic knowledge-sharing and networking activities, including an online course, webinars and e-discussions, and participated in face-to-face knowledge-sharing and networking events. Almost 1700 members participated in the RWSN webinar series, which included 29 weekly dedicated sessions in four languages. Recordings and related documents are available for viewing and sharing on the RWSN website and on video platforms. RWSN also ran several capacity-building activities, including a successful online course on professional management of water well drilling (March-May 2018). RWSN published the following in 2018, all available on the RWSN website: - UNICEF and Skat Foundation/ RWSN (2018) Forage d’eau: vers la professionnalisation d’un secteur - RWSN (2018) Social accountability for rural water services: Synthesis of e-discussion - RWSN (2018) Inclusive Rural Water Supply Management Innovations: Summary of the Rural Water Supply Network’s Leave No-one Behind Group E-Discussion 12th November – 4th December 2018 Specific in-country activities include local capacity building initiatives for entrepreneurs in Tanzania and Zimbabwe and training on drilling supervision in Zambia. | »


RWSN to put the “Safe” in Safely Managed Drinking Water Une eau potable gérée en toute sécurité : l’importance de la qualité de l’eau pour de RWSN

Word from the Chair, Kelly Ann Naylor (UNICEF) Accessibility. Availability. Quality. These are the three criteria that define a safely managed drinking water service under SDG 6.1. While accessibility and availability were known challenges for rural water supply services, the scale of the problem of rural water quality was not well quantified, until last year’s WHO/ UNICEF JMP Update Report 2017 put the water quality issue firmly on the map for rural water supply. While 73% of the world’s population drinks water free from contamination bacteriological and chemical contamination, only 55% of the world’s rural population - just over half - drinks safe water. Furthermore, estimates for water quality are only available for 45% of the global population. The JMP report notes that these data suggest that levels of compliance with drinking water standards are likely to be low in developing countries. RWSN addresses many aspects of rural drinking water services, but there had not been a specific focus on water quality thus far. Given the importance of this issue for rural people, RWSN is proud to announce a new partnership with The Water Institute at UNC Chapel Hill to tackle the quality of water in rural water services. According to Professor Jamie Bartram (Director, The Water Institute at UNC), “this partnership will leverage the powerful RWSN platform and The Water Institute’s expertise in water quality and management to bring up to date evidence and methods to the members of the network. As a new Topic Leader in Mapping and Monitoring, The Water Institute aims to bring evidence and practice closer by facilitating lively discussion and producing practical guidance on Safely Managed Water.” You can find out more about this new partnership in the section below. Accessibility and availability of drinking water also remain critical issues for rural populations. Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 8 out of 10 households with water off premises, and 263 million people use water supplies more than 30 minutes from home. Likewise, many rural water systems face operation and maintenance challenges that can leave rural populations with long downtimes when spare parts or skilled technicians are not available to make the repair. RWSN’s Themes and online communities remain active on addressing Accessibility and Availability as part of the new strategy 2018-2023. The Sustainable Services Theme explores service delivery models to ensure continuity and quality of services. The Sustainable Groundwater Development Theme is concerned with the overall availability of the water resource itself, while the recently-launched topic on “Solar Pumping” allows exchange on advances in solar pumping technologies and field experiences of their use and management. The Mapping and Monitoring Theme is looking at how to reinforce in-country monitoring systems of water services. The Self-Supply Theme helps define the enabling environment that enables people to invest in and improve their own water systems. And cutting across all topics, the Leave No One Behind Theme emphasizes the need to have an inclusive approach to rural water, taking gender, disability, and marginalised populations into account to fulfil the human right to water. Next year’s World Water Day theme will be “Leaving No One Behind.” Now more than ever, Rural Water practitioners will be on the forefront to take up this challenge and address these persistent inequalities so that rural populations everywhere can drink water that is safe, available when needed, and accessible close to home. | »

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