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Swaziland: WASH Systems Services and Support Report Recap

At Voss Foundation we prefer to develop long-term relationships with our implementing partners. This choice means we have fewer partners, but it enables our partners to comprehensively address the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs of not just one community but a whole district or region and make substantial progress toward achieving their missions. In addition to support for new infrastructure and applicable trainings, our long-term relationships allow us to provide broader WASH support for things like monitoring and evaluation, ongoing maintenance and management, and capacity building, which give our partners the opportunity to apply lessons learned from previous projects to improve the design, implementation, and overall impact of future projects.

Our partnership with boMake Rural Projects (formerly Gone Rural boMake) is an example of the opportunities a long-term relationship provides. Since 2013, Voss Foundation has funded 16 new water systems, structural upgrades for 14 existing systems, 420 ventilated pit latrines, sanitation and hygiene trainings, and governance and financial management trainings with boMake. These initiatives benefit over 10,000 people in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland).

Voss Foundation also funded an evaluation for all boMake’s completed WASH initiatives, including water systems funded by other donors, through the Charlot D. Malin Commemorative Fund. boMake completed the fieldwork and compiled a report of their findings. You can learn more about the results of the evaluation by reading through the Executive Summary and Conclusion and Recommendations sections from boMake’s WASH Systems Services and Support Report below.

boMake has already started to act on the findings. They used the evaluation to identify the water systems in need of structural upgrades or rehabilitation and completed the necessary repairs. The findings are also being used to inform their 2019-2020 WASH strategy, which will include support for past projects as well as new systems. Past project support will target areas where impact has not been achieved in order to improve outcomes and better meet the needs of the community.

Voss Foundation is proud to support boMake. We look forward to continuing to support their efforts to meet the WASH needs of eSwatini through sustainable WASH projects that last for years to come.



In partnership with Voss Foundation, boMake Rural Projects’ Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) team conducted face-to-face surveys with water committees and households to investigate Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAPs) gained through WASH interventions. In addition, we reviewed the operations and usage of 22 boreholes that were implemented by boMake between 2010 and 2017.*

The evaluation was conducted in the following chiefdoms: eGebeni, Ndlinilembi, Mpini, KaNdinda, Makhekhe, and Lavumisa. It had been several years since the WASH team examined these water structures in detail. It was discovered that 18 out of the 22 boreholes were still functioning well and most only needed slab construction to meet the minimum requirement of the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) Design Manual. This is a testament to the water committees and their ongoing efforts to have access to clean water for their community. However, 2 of the boreholes were not functioning and 2 were dry and will need to have the borehole stripped to determine the water yield before any refurbishment is started. These 4 non-functioning boreholes are located in the Lavumisa chiefdom which is in the driest part of the county. Twenty-nine surveyed households (or 12%) are impacted by these 4 non-functioning boreholes.

Annex 3 provides the Refurbishment Schedule for all 22 boreholes. In addition, the Refurbishment report that will be submitted to Voss Foundation separately will detail the results of the work that was completed for all 22 boreholes.

This report will focus on the results of the survey that was conducted with the water committees and households related to water usage and KAPs.

Out of the 240 surveyed households, 187 or 78% of them had access to a functioning borehole. However, when asked what is their main source of water, [only] 162 out of the 187 households (87%) cited a borehole/stand-alone pipe; 22 households (12%) said the river/stream; 2 (1%), cited rainwater; and 1 (> 1%) said well/reservoir. The primary reason for using the river/stream instead of the borehole was distance, but the quality of the water was also a factor (was salty) for these households.

In fact, 5 households in the Lavumisa chiefdom admitted to using borehole water that was more than 3km away because the BoMake implemented borehole less than 1km is no longer functional.

The demographics of the responders are consistent with Gone Rural artisans. A majority of those interviewed about water collection and usage during the day were female (81%) and skewed older in age. Furthermore, because these were Gone Rural artisans, 26% of responders said their main source of income was handcraft.

More female respondents (81%) than male respondents (19%) were interviewed with the majority of the respondents, (21.7%), aged 60 years and above. 26.3% of the sampled households’ main source of income is handcraft.

About 94.2% have access to ventilated Improved Pit latrines (VIP), which are at least 6m or less than 10m away from the nearest house. 28% households have children below the age of 5 years who access the VIP latrine with adult supervision with 29% without access, they use baby pots for defecation or let the children defecate on the ground and then collect the fecal waste and dispose it in the pit latrines and some practice open defecation. Even though 97.9% of the respondents indicated that they wash their hands after using the toilet, only 23% households with pit latrines have a hand washing station with soap and water outside their pit latrines. 89% of the respondents said that none of their household members have suffered from any water related diseases in the last four weeks.

Most of the households recommended an upgrade of their water systems to be nearer to their homes and retraining of the water management committees with WASH inclusion to nearby schools. A refresher training of water committees with inclusion of local authorities on the operation and maintenance of water schemes and sanitation facilities is also recommended.

4.1 Conclusion

A community’s ability to finance the operation and maintenance (O&M) of its water systems is critical to the sustainability of that scheme. The evaluation of the 22 boreholes show that Makhekhe, Manzamhlophe, Magengeni, Lagobho and Mashoza are effective in collecting monthly subscriptions from their registered users the other 17 water schemes are still struggling in collecting subscription as Tibane 2 and Etjeni struggled after community members stopped their monthly O&M fees, Bovane and Siphondo community members also stopped because their water structures are dry. According to Department of Water Affairs guidelines there should be 80% coverage before a WASH project is implemented, during the evaluation it was discovered that 94.2% of the 240 households have access to pit latrines only 12 (5%) do not meet all the minimum requirements in Magengeni, Lusaseni, Hhome, Mgumleni, Slutjane, Lagobho and Kamlimisi. It was also discovered that 44.8% of the samples households disposes off sanitary pads in a pit latrine, this decreases the lifespan of VIP latrines which is 15-20 years for a family of 5, the organisation has to develop new strategies when implementing WASH projects whereby a VIP latrine is constructed with toxic waste disposal pit because Sustainable Development Goal 6 states pays attention to need of women and children as 10% of households use a VIP latrine to get rid of used disposable napkins It was discovered that boMake Rural Projects has provided access to potable water to 168 families, but when calculating water access 84 of the households, which is 35% of the total population that was surveyed, have access to 15 litres of water per person per day, the organisation has a long way to go to meeting the WHO standard.

4.2 Recommendations
[T]o improve access to water it is recommended that water systems that gravitate to stand pipes be implemented. This will decrease the walking distance of most households because they can be placed at a central location unlike borehole hand pumps whose location is influenced by borehole surveying for communities in Mpini, Gebeni, Ndlinilembi, Somtongo and Matsanjeni. KaNdinda has an ongoing water project that is implemented by the Rural Water Supply Branch.

A refresher training course is recommended to re-engage the committee, community and the traditional leaders in order to support the operation and maintenance of the Water and Sanitation Scheme. Recommended topics of discussion would be as follows:
• Importance of Operation and Maintenance Funds facilitated by the Department of Water Affairs, and Good Hygiene principles by the Department of Environmental Health.
• WASH programming that targets children under 5 should be implemented as most of them practice open defecation.

To address the issues of water access boMake needs to survey and drill boreholes and if the yield is enough to support the total population of that particular community, solar panels and a submersible pump can be installed to pump water to a higher elevation and be distributed through a piped network to reduce the water distance and meet the WHO standard of 15l per person per day.

*Voss Foundation provided financial support for 10 of the 22 boreholes as well as VIP latrines, participatory hygiene and sanitation trainings (PHAST), and maintenance, management, and governance training in the corresponding communities. The other boreholes were funded by different organizations. The table below provides basic information about each water scheme.

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