Focus Area 3: Municipal Services (MS)
This Focus Area covers major water- and sanitation- related activities undertaken within the municipal areas, usually under the auspices of the Municipal Authorities and with their support and facilitation. These Authorities will inevitably have an important role, if in some cases primarily a regulatory one, in basic services schemes for low-income urban and peri-urban areas covered in the previous Focus Area. But in Basic Services schemes, especially where informal or illegal settlements are concerned, community groups are usually the key operators of services. The municipal water and wastewater services encompassed by this Focus Area are primarily capital-intensive types of programmes and projects with more sophisticated technology and maintenance requirements as compared with Basic Services schemes.
Programmes and projects in this Focus Area include water supply, sewerage, waste water management, and management of waste from a wide range of industrial, manufacturing and domestic consumers. Given the rapid rate of urbanisation in many developing countries, one area of concentration will be the development of additional water sources (see also WR). The increasing distance of intakes from urban settlements, for example, is contributing to the escalation of costs and creating a growing awareness of the need for efficiency and a change in water consumption habits. Rehabilitation and repair of existing systems, including the reduction of wastage from leaking pipes and reservoirs, is an important area of activity. Optimal use of existing systems, including water efficient technologies, is the preferred option to the installation of new systems.
Water quality is also as important as managing the transport elements of water supply. Municipal Services are responsible for wastewater treatment and control of upstream and downstream pollution. In many coastal areas, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, the prevention of seawater intrusion into over-exploited coastal aquifers, is becoming a major issue in many developing country cities and towns. Changing water use habits to include recycling and re-use of water, and other water saving strategies are being seen has having as strong an impact as improved technology in optimizing water use. Cost recovery, regulation and demand management will be key elements of programme and project design.
The institutions, types of agencies and the allocation of responsibilities involved in provision and management of water and sanitation services will come under scrutiny in this Focus Area, to a greater extent than in the Focus Area Basic Services. There is likely to be more frequent involvement of private sector companies or public/private partnerships in the management of programmes and projects. Reforms of the institutional and regulatory frameworks for the provision and maintenance of services, increasing the efficiency of investment and cost recovery may also be the focus of programmes and projects.
A wide range of stakeholders, many with considerable vested interests, may need to be involved; especially if investments are required for establishing a preferred level of provision usually above that of basic services. These processes require a good participation supported by awareness-raising for informed choices and decisions in order that solutions are not too technically sophisticated or costly; but instead are efficient and appropriate.
Box 3.4- Project Activities and Project Example Focus Area 3
Typical project activities for Focus Area 3 include the following:
Project example - Water supply and sanitation project in Maputo
In 2005, Mozambique launched a water supply and sanitation project in its capital city, Maputo. The Greater Maputo sanitation provision is grossly inefficient, as in most cities in sub-Saharan Africa: most people do not have access to a hygienic toilet; less than a half of the population has access to adequate drinking water and 48% of the population lives in absolute poverty.
In this context the project aims to rehabilitate water supply infrastructure, reduce water loss and wastage and extend services to the outer fringes of the metropolitan area of Maputo. By 2014, the target is to raise the number of people served, particularly the most disadvantaged, from 670,000 today to nearly 1.5 million.
The project consists of an interesting blended financial mechanism with a mix of grants from the ACP-EU Water Facility, the Dutch government and French Development Agency, a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a strong national support from the Mozambican Government. The Maputo water supply project is implemented by the public asset-holding company FIPAG (Fundo de Investimento e Patrimonio do Abastecimento de Agua).
The project had four specific objectives: (i) to increase installed production capacity to ensure constant supply to the 730 000 people presently connected to the existing water supply system (currently the system does not provide a 24-hour supply) and increase the population served by the international operator by 467 000 people in 2010 and by an additional 145 000 by 2014; (ii) to improve the system's performance by reducing unaccounted for water (so-called unmetered water or UFW) from 60% to 40%; (iii) to expand the water supply in the poorer areas on peri-urban areas with the support of small local private operators, in order to extend services to an additional 110 000 people; and (iv) to improve the promoter's capacity and financial sustainability, which will contribute to the improvement of water services in all cities under the promoter's responsibility.
The key positive socio-economic benefits will be the result of the improvement of services to the currently served population and the extension of services to areas currently not served. Without the project, the extension of improved services would be blocked and the deterioration of existing services expected, as installations are working beyond design capacity. To ensure the realisation of socio-economic benefits the project focuses on meeting the populations' needs, with respect to (i) the selection of service and income levels to respect affordability, and (ii) the encouragement of participatory management structures, especially for shared water supply services (standpipes), strengthening the sense of ownership in local communities.
A key impact of the project is the reduction of the time spent by families on long distance water collection. Water collection is generally the responsibility of women and young girls; the project should free time for them to engage in productive or educational activities generating substantial additional wealth and increasing the likelihood of girls receiving formal education. The project will also create opportunities for women to participate in water committees and other community-based organisations and so contribute to a fairer gender balance in the management of water services.
A second significant impact is on health. Access to safe water is a dominant factor in the reduction of cholera and other water-borne diseases. In Maputo, studies show there are cholera cases every year and an epidemic every three years. In peri-urban areas there are an average of 3 000 cholera cases per annum, while diarrhoea cases are estimated at about 63 000 per annum. The project is expected to significantly reduce morbidity from these diseases.
The economic analysis of the project, including consideration of direct and indirect benefits (tariffs paid by people for different services in different areas, as well as the value of time saved, of reduced morbidity from waterborne diseases, and of induced economic activity) shows a satisfactory and robust Economic Internal Rate of Return according to the EIB.
Adapted from: EIB, 2006.