WATER, SANITATION & HYGIENE (WASH)
THEMATIC PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Promoting equitable access to water, hygiene and sanitation services contributes to food and nutrition security and is therefore a critical component of CARE’s program strategy in Mozambique.
Background: Approximately 14,400 Mozambicans, including 10,700 children under five, die each year from diarrhea, 90% of which is attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. With an annual average of 8,000 cases, cholera in Mozambique has represented up to one third of all African cholera cases over the years. In addition, poor sanitation is a contributing factor to other leading causes of child mortality including malaria (the leading killer of children, contributing to around 33 per cent of all child deaths), ALRI and measles. Mozambique has one of the highest rates of stunting in the world affecting 44% of Mozambican children under the age of five and up to 57% in certain parts of the North. Unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation is a major contributor to under nutrition in Mozambique.
History: CARE has been involved in rural and small town water supply since 1990 and was also one of the first agencies to pilot the National Water Policy in 1996. Complementary to its water supply efforts, CARE has also been developing different models of hygiene promotion over more than a decade in Mozambique.
Since 2004 CARE has undertaken low cost water initiatives designed to increase access to the most impoverished communities and CARE has helped build 549 water points providing water to 270,000 community members. Additionally, CARE has worked to provide a range of sanitation programs targeting 137 communities with latrines and hygiene based behavioural change programming. As a result of these two key initiatives open defecation has ceased and 30% more community members have access to clean water supplies. Mindful of the need to support adolescent girls CARE has developed a very targeted WASH program which was implemented in 109 schools that ensures girls have access to water, sanitation and are provided with gender specific hygiene information.
Current Programs: In-line with the new long term program strategy for 2014-2020, CARE continues to implement WASH activities, which deliberately contribute to enhancing food and nutrition security. As part of the USAID funded SCIP (Strengthening Communities through Integrated Programming) project, CARE focused on enhancing governance structures of WASH committees so as to increase women’s participation and ensure these water points are managed sustainably by the community.
As a result of the project, SCIP communities saw several impressive improvements. The construction of 128 new and rehabilitated water points and multipoint water systems benefiting 105,000 people or an expanded access to potable water from 32.7% (2010 SCIP baseline) to 61.4% (2014 SCIP endline).
Some key innovations include:
Multipoint water systems: With increased urbanization occurring at district level CARE is working to reduce the costs of water supply and achieve economies of scale through providing water to communities of up to 25,000 people. CARE has installed 5 such systems reaching 65,000 people for a cost of about $225,000. CARE has experimented with and refined private sector management of these waterpoints, where a concessionaire, typically a local entrepreneur, accountable to the Public Works Department is able to collect user fees and reinvest into the maintenance of the system. This system has been successful and has resulted in households being connected as well as public waterpoints being managed sustainably.
Spare parts supply: Part of the problem with Afridev manual pumps after a couple of years is the need for maintenance and replacement of wearing parts. CARE has helped to legalise and train local artisan groups in maintenance and business management in each of the districts that it works in. These groups have maintained pumps successfully for a fee and are running successful small shops that keep stocks of fast moving spare parts.
Also see: CARE Mozambique WASH strategy 2014 - 2020