A powerpoint presented by Sally Sutton, Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). There is a growing awareness of the investment people have made and could make in their own water supply in rural areas. This could be built upon especially if productive use brings a return on investment. The Self Supply approach largely removes the dilemmas of co-ordinating joint sector investments from agriculture and domestic water supply for multiple uses (see MUS Laos discussion), concentrating less on funded implementation and more on creating an enabling environment for people to develop their own solutions. As it is less a top-down donor approach and more a marketing of products and skills, there is a need to think of water supply less in terms of a necessary service and more as user defined solutions which should employ marketing principles for their growth. This in turn highlights some of the areas in which conventional rural water supply is weakest in its understanding of consumer attitudes and practices, which particularly affects sustainability. Marketing approaches to encourage and enable private investment among people who are poor (but generally find a way to attain goals if they really want to achieve them) form an area of common interest to MUS and Self Supply.
A powerpoint presented by Adriaan Mels, Okke Braadbaart, Jules van Lier and Grietje Zeeman, Lettinga Associates Foundation for Environmental Protection and Resource Conservation on how eco-sanitation relates to multiple uses of water.
A powerpoint presented by Stef Smits on a framework of linkages between sanitation, wastewater and livelihoods
A powerpoint presented by Marieke Adank, IRC, in Delft, 2007, on a framework to evaluate the costs and benefits of the multiple use approach.
This powerpoint presentation by Tom Slaymaker (ODI) aimed to show how sectoral debates relating to MUS can be linked to wider debates on ‘pro-growth’ and ‘livelihood protection and promotion’. The linkages between water livelihoods and growth is one of three major focus areas for the forthcoming ‘RiPPLE’ research program. Recent scoping work in Ethiopia explored the nature of the water-livelihood-growth relationship at micro, meso and macro levels and highlighted the issue of risk and vulnerability as a major constraint to growth in Ethiopia. Chronic poverty and food insecurity are prevalent in many low income countries and have important implications for the design of water sector interventions. To-date debates within the MUS group have tended to focus on livelihood benefits in terms of income poverty but our understanding of the role of MUS in helping poor households mitigate risk and vulnerability remains limited. Macro level growth debates tend to centre on issues of market access and asset inequality but we know very little about the relative importance of inequalities in water access vis-à-vis other forms of asset inequality (e.g. education, health, roads). Improved understanding of the linkages between MUS livelihoods and growth has potentially important implications for targeting and sequencing investment across sectors.
This is the background note for the session on MUS, sanitation and reuse for the MUS Thematic Group Meeting, Delft, 12-13 Feb 2007.
The multiple use services approach has been gaining recognition in South Africa over the last few years, expressed in a range of policy, research, implementation and advocacy initiatives. In 2005 a national seminar was held on the theme. One of the concerns raised was that local government is the key to implementation, but they had so far been rather absent from the discussions. In a follow-up to the 2005 seminar, a second seminar was convened by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and the MUS (Multiple Use Systems) project in partnership with WIN-SA (the Water Information Network of South Africa) and SALGA (the South African Local Government Association) on 25 October 2006. The objective of the seminar was to look at the implications for local government implementation of the mus approach. This focused on the guidelines for local government implementation of multiple use water services that DWAF is developing. Participants came from a cross-section of institutions: national government departments, provincial DWAF offices, local government, research institutions, NGOs and consultancies.
The importance of mus to realising goals of addressing poverty through water was emphasised. However, there are still no coherent, agreed upon, national definitions of multiple uses of water, that give clarity while leaving room for flexibility. It is agreed that livelihoods and Local Economic Development (LED) are at the heart of mus, and that the boundaries of that cannot be tightly set. Definitions can become an academic discussion, but are important as they have implications for mandates and for accounting and funding. Mapping of the different funding streams need to be combined to implement mus. This is complicated, as the agencies who administer them operate at different levels and with different procedures. Integrated Development Plans (IDPs), in theory, provide a mechanism for alignment between various agencies and plans, but in practice IDP processes are sometimes weak. IDPs could be the basis for assessing demand and needs for mus, considering supply issues, and enabling cooperative governance. Combining piped water supply with alternative water sources, especially rainwater harvesting, seems to provide the most practical way forward in the South African context. The lack of capacity at municipal level and how this may limit the implementation of mus which is a new and more demanding approach was raised as a concern. On the other hand, the integrated approach required for mus may also be an opportunity to achieve more impact and reduce poverty.
A range of activities were proposed including strengthened communication and advocacy and continuing the work on the guidelines for local government, especially in the area of financing mechanisms. This should be accompanied by the piloting multiple use initiatives in the context of municipal service delivery plans.
A recent Stockholm Environment Institute research project has looked at the patterns of domestic water use in rural and peri-urban areas in Vietnam, with a particular focus on micro enterprises undertaken in and around the household using domestic water supplies. The study took place in 7 provinces across Vietnam and involved over 100 households. The overall approach was based on conventional rapid participatory appraisal techniques, and included the use of interviews with key informants and households, focus group discussions, field observations and documentary analysis.
The study found that water had a significant role in productive activity in and around the home, both in production for household consumption and for income generation. The majority of households surveyed had a vegetable garden and/or were raising some type of livestock, usually pigs. Some of this food production was clearly for household consumption, thus increasing households’ food security, but some household crops were being cultivated exclusively for sale in the village market. Most families with more than 2 pigs were also selling pork.
Water was also crucial to other home-based income-generating activities (IGAs), particularly for those undertaken by female members of the household. The most common household IGA observed was the production of food products, and these enterprises were generally run primarily – and often entirely – by the women of the extended household. In many cases, the male head of household and older sons worked outside the household area, either farming or as wage labourers; working on their own, the women were able to produce food items for sale while having sufficient time to raise children and take care of the household domestic needs. This pattern held true in both rural and peri-urban areas and means that these activities are of great significance in gender as well as livelihoods terms.
Service-based businesses also offered specific benefits to female household members. A motorbike washing business in a peri-urban area of Thai Binh illustrated the advantages of this type of micro enterprise, both in terms of how it meshed with child-rearing and other household demands and with respect to the low level of investment and skills required. The female owner of the business washed five motorbikes in a typical day, noting it was something she did in her spare time; for start-up, all she had needed was a pump (for drawing water from the river), soap and an air pressure hose (for drying the bikes). The woman estimated her daily profit at VND10,000-15,000 (US$0.62-0.94): a significant sum of money to her, and earned from only an hour or two of work a day.
While many of these IGAs were not seen as sources of prosperity for rural households (in contrast, for example, to farming shrimp and fish, working in the city, or having equipment and machinery to run larger businesses), people did believe the additional income was essential to household security. There were also instances in which IGAs had been used to generate sufficient investment capital for households to move into more lucrative businesses. One family in Thai Binh, for example, had used profits from raising pork and producing rice wine to save enough money to join with two other families in buying a car for a taxi service. This family’s experience thus illustrates how water-dependent small-scale enterprise can serve as a ladder out of poverty.
From: ‘Productive uses of domestic water: a household-level study from Vietnam’ by Stacey Noel, John Soussan and Nguyen Phuong Thao. To be published in 'Sustainable Development of Water Resources, Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation: Proceedings of the 32nd WEDC Conference', November 2006. Contact Stacey Noel at the Stockholm Environment Institute for more information
Powerpoint presentation given on behalf of the Thematic Group on Productive Uses of Water at the Household Level (PRODWAT) and Multiple Use Systems Research (MUS) at the Stockholm World Water Week, 2006.
The winning case study for the 2005 award was Laba Hari Budhathoki of NEWAH in Nepal. It described the broad benefits of an integrated water, sanitation and hygiene project that also included promotion of kitchen gardening. NEWAH used the award to undertake a follow-up study, and you can now read a full report on how gardening was promoted in the project, and the impacts.