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From rights to results in rural water services - evidence from Kyuso, Kenya

Author(s): Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE)

Publisher: Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE)
Place of publication: Oxford University, UK
Year: 2014

Series: Smith School Water Programme Working Paper 1


Institutional transformations are required if Africa is to deliver the universal Human Right to Water to 275 million rural people without improved water services. Improving the reliability of one million handpumps which should deliver drinking water to over 200 million rural Africans will be a major contribution to translating water rights into measureable results. This study tests a new maintenance service model over a one year period in rural Kenya using mobile-enabled data to improve operational and financial performance by reducing risks at scale.

Results have led to:

a) a ten-fold reduction in handpump downtime (days not working), 

b) a shift to 98 per cent of handpumps functioning, 

c) a fairer and more flexible payment model contingent on service delivery, 

d) new and objective metrics to guide water service regulatory reform,

e) a revised financial architecture shaped by an output-based payment model.  

The model outlines a new and replicable framework for policy and investment behaviour informed by rural water users’ more expansive views of the design and delivery of rural water institutions than currently prescribed.  

Hand pumps  |  Kenya  |  Maintenance  |  Mobile phones  |  Rural supply systems  |  Service provision  |  www