WASH-based businesses

Updated - Tuesday 11 September 2018

Business schemes such as prepaid water meters, water kiosks, automatic prepaid water meters and water vending machines were implemented by local partners like EMESCO and UFUNDIKO in Uganda and Tanzania respectively.

EMESCO uses a community-based approach in the operation, maintenance, monitoring and management of the water facilities developed through WASH–based business models. Such an approach guarantees good public inclusion and this can be further used to promote advocacy of the new WASH reforms. EMESCO started a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) which requires the community to make a capital contribution to construct a water resource and then gather funds from users for the proper maintenance of the resource. At times, a new water resource can also be constructed from the savings gathered and the revenue earned through collected funds, thus giving a boost to the rural economy and increasing the ability of villagers in financial management.

Prepaid water meters are used to monitor the water usage by citizens and charge them accordingly. For water kiosks, caretakers are appointed at water pumps to monitor the water usage and collect funds from the users. This money is saved, out of which, one share is allocated to CABDA and the rest is used in construction of new WASH facilities. CABDA supports water users with funds for VSLA from which soft loans are given to boost the livelihood of the community members. 

Automatic prepaid water meters were also installed in a few regions to avoid human interference and tampering of the units.

Water vending machines are run as a joint effort of UFUNDIKO, STIC Lab and the local village government where in customers put money in the machine and water is dispensed. There is a display screen where water and sanitation messages are run to spread awareness within the community.

However, certain challenges are faced in the proper functioning of these WASH-based business services. At times, the water meters are broken down, tampered with, vandalized, and are out of order. In the upcoming years, our focus is on addressing these challenges and providing a solution.

About WASH and Learn!

The WASH and Learn! programme integrates community and school WASH projects in three adjacent countries in East Africa – Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Together with six local NGO partners, Simavi implements this programme, focusing on water supply and sanitation, and hygiene behaviour improvements.

Simavi continues to work with communities on creating a positive and enabling environment in which every stakeholder is active and ensures that people are using the WASH services properly.

More information on the WASH and Learn! programme can be found here.