Community management of water points in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

2 October 2018

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the DRC WASH Consortium has been applying a modified Life-Cycle cost approach to improve the sustainability of rural WASH services.

In particular, limited community capacity to collect funds to cover operation and maintenance costs threaten the long-term functionality of installed infrastructure: the Consortium has been supporting, since 2013, communities to develop business plans to improve the sustainability of their water points over time.

This paper investigates factors characterising communities and committees that are able to reach three defined levels of financial self-sufficiency. The levels are based on the calculated costs of sustaining services over the short, medium, and long term. The factors investigated include structural factors - community size, type of water point, committee composition – and also factors associated with the operational approach of the committees – method of revenue generation, exemption of vulnerable people, and professionalisation of the committee.

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