© 2016 - • DRC WASH Consortium
In 2013, the idea of rural communities paying for water services was relatively new in DRC: there was a belief in the WASH sector that this context was too fragile for community management of WASH services to be possible.Yet with extremely low access rates, a fast-growing population, and especially poor functionality of water infrastructure, something needed to change.
When the DRC WASH Consortium started that same year, there was no past experience in the country which could confirm rural communities’ willingness or ability to pay for water. The DRC WASH Consortium’s ambitions were high: five INGOs launching a six year programme to support local communities in managing and financially sustaining WASH services in rural DRC. Funded by UK-aid, the DRC WASH Consortium gathered the know-how of lead agency Concern Worldwide with ACF, ACTED, CRS, and Solidarités International to work with more than 600 rural communities and 640,000 people across seven provinces.
Five years later, with a wealth of project data at our disposal, we wanted to answer some key questions: To what extent do Consortium-assisted rural communities succeed in managing their water services in a financially self-sufficient way? And what makes a community successful?