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Swaziland: Rehabilitation Project Update

Voss Foundation funded the evaluation of 22 water and sanitation projects implemented by our partner boMake Rural Projects (formerly Gone Rural boMake) as well as the rehabilitation of 14 water systems that did not meet the revised national standards through the Charlot D. Malin Commemorative Fund and Mikimoto’s Pearls for Progress campaign.

The water systems and support evaluation was conducted from February 2018 – April 2018. The evaluation included site visits to assess the functionality and upkeep of systems, which enabled boMake to identify what water systems needed structural upgrades or rehabilitation. Refurbishment and rehabilitation took place from June 2018 – August 2018.

Below are excerpts from boMake’s WASH Refurbishment Report:

1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background Access to potable water is a real challenge to those in the rural communities of eSwatini. Since 2010, boMake Rural Projects has implemented 22 water systems, specifically in support of our Gone Rural artisan communities. For the majority of the water schemes, a water committee was established to operate and maintain the boreholes. While boMake is still involved in capacity training and communication with the water committees, we do not support them financially. Therefore, when boMake received funds in November 2017 to survey all our boreholes and refurbish them accordingly, we and the community members were very excited…

1.2 Objectives

  • Structurally upgrade water structures to meet the minimum requirements of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Department of Water Affairs (DWA) design manual.
  • Rehabilitate non-functioning water points that were implemented by boMake Rural Projects.

2.0 WASH Refurbishment … boMake Rural Projects identified 16 (out of the 22) water structures that needed refurbishment or rehabilitation. Out of the 16 water structures, 14 were rehabilitated. We were unable to rehabilitate 2 (one in Mpini and the other in Lavumisa) because the water flow was insufficient. An alternative solution for these communities needs to be found.

2.1 Partners Role and Responsibilities When conducting the Refurbishment project, boMake worked with a private contractor with direct supervision from the DWA. The roles and responsibility of each partner are listed below:

  • boMake: Provide technical expertise, coordination, and is the main point of contact. Also update all development partners on the progress of the project.
  • Community: Provide locally available materials for the refurbishment, which was river sand. Also provide tools such as wheelbarrows, shovels, hammers, wrenches and pickaxes, if available. Community members also provide physical labor during the refurbishment…
  • DWA: Provide technical supervision and ensure WASH requirements are being followed… DWA also supplies technical equipment to rehabilitate boreholes and provides the design requirements that must be met when implementing a WASH Project.

2.2 WASH Committee Re-Fresher Training The WASH Refurbishment Project started with the Ntontozi Refresher Training on the 22nd of June 2018. The refresher training was attended by all the water committee members from all the water projects located in the Ntontozi Constituency (KaNdinda, eMpini and eGebeni chiefdoms). Local authorities from all the chiefdoms also were invited to the one-day refresher. The training was facilitated by officials from the DWA and the Ministry of Health (Department of Environmental Health (DEH)).

The water committee members were re-trained on the following topics:

  1. Water committee setup and re-elections
  2. Constitution
  3. Minors repairs for a Afridev hand pump
  4. Local authorities’ role in WASH schemes
  5. Basic household sanitation
  6. Sanitation and hygiene as a prerequisite for any WASH Project
  7. Household disinfectants

2.3.1 Mpini Chiefdom The project in the Mpini chiefdom resulted in 2 boreholes being refurbished. Only concrete works were needed on both boreholes to prevent the boreholes from being muddy when it rains… Unfortunately, the Bovane water scheme was determined to be dry since the yield was only 20 liters per day.

2.3.2 Gebeni Chiefdom For the Gebeni chiefdom, 2 boreholes needed attention. The Silutjane borehole only needed concrete works and the Logobho borehole needed concrete works and re-fencing…

2.3.3 KaNdinda Chiefdom For the KaNdinda chiefdom, 5 boreholes needed concrete works (floor slab) – in the KaMlimisi, Enjeni, Mashoza, Magengeni and Kandinda communities… The Kandinda borehole was the very last borehole we were able to refurbish because it was located inside the Chief’s compound and so boMake had to secure permission from the local inner council… The borehole had been upgraded to an electric borehole by the chiefdom so boMake only needed to refurbish the standpipe by implementing concrete works and rehabilitating its soak away pit.

2.4 Lavumisa Borehole (Shiselweni region) …At Lavumisa, only 2 out of the 5 boreholes were functional at the time of the survey… We were able to rehabilitate the 2 that had broken down. They both needed replacement pipes and chains. The community purchased the chains and boMake provided pipes that were left over from the Ntontozi water schemes… The community members were delighted because they had deferred to using the Ngwavuma River as their water source for cooking and drinking. Unfortunately, the borehole that was dry could not be rehabilitated…

The 2 functional boreholes, Mfulamude and Tibane 3, only required concrete works with additional fencing and channels…

2.3.5 Mpuluzi Makhekhe Water Scheme The Mpuluzi Makhekhe Water Scheme, boMake’s very first borehole, was implemented in 2010. This is the only water scheme that is powered by solar panels… [water] flows to 4 standpipes… The rehabilitation included installation of concrete manhole rings, increasing the height of standpipe support and excavation of soak away.

4.0 Challenges

  • Suppliers: Our supplier, Aveng Engineering which is the only supplier in eSwatini that manufactures concrete channels, was low on stock at the time we needed them…This impacted the refurbishment schedule for Lavumisa…
  • Logistics: Transporting all the materials to Lavumisa was also a challenge as it required a 5 ton truck. The rental of a commercial truck required a properly licensed driver that we had to hire through the rental agency. The WASH Project Officer was required to travel with the driver to Lavumisa… Then he had to return with the driver before heading back to Lavumisa to start the rehabilitations.
  • Working Equipment: Most of the technical equipment for the refurbishments was borrowed from the DWA in Matsapha. We experienced some delays when the tripod stand and pulley were nonfunctional for a period of time…
  • Coordinating with Communities: It is a challenge to work with different communities. Even though boMake would set up and confirm the timeline and schedule with the community point of contact (POC), there were times when we would arrive only to learn that another development partner already had engaged the community in another activity that day…

5.0 Lessons Learned and Recommendations Additional capacity building for WASH projects on a consistent basis is essential: build upon the normal 4-day PHAST training with shorter and more frequent events; increase awareness of the roles and responsibilities for all the parties involved – the water committee, government authorities, community members as well as the NGO.

As most of the WASH approaches have failed to attained adequate sustainability, boMake should consider integration of other approaches to the WASH initiatives, like Community Savings and Loans groups into water and sanitation schemes…

Thank you, boMake, for your commitment to the functionality and management of existing systems and constantly striving to improve the design, implementation, and support of future water systems. We would also like to take thank Mikimoto and Charlot’s friends and family contributed to the Commemorative Fund and made these projects.  Because of your support, sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in eSwatini continues to improve.

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