A new volunteer from France, Agathe Hubau, has been able to continue our baseline study of the availability and safety of water in the region by surveying the management structure and infrastructure in the Tubah municipality, which comprises four villages with a total population of almost 90,000. The circumstances in these villages varied widely.
In Bambui (pop. 20,000), water is supplied by two types of catchments: one stream catchment, with natural treatment composed of a gravel filter, a sedimentation tank and a slow sand filter, and eight spring catchments, one being built. Although they suffer from shortages during dry season, this was the best system we have seen to date. The Bambui Water Authority is a well-organised association, with consciousness and transparency. They involve residents in decision-making and kept them informed about what was being done and why. As a result, people pay the water levy, which is not too heavy, providing adequate funds for maintenance and repair.
In contrast, Bambili (also with 20 000 inhabitants) is supplied in water by 7 different spring catchments that need a complete rehabilitation, as well as pipes. Lack of maintenance has caused a catchment to collapse due to raffia roots. There has not been a recent election for Bambili Water Authority, and residents are not satisfied with their water management. In consequence, they don’t pay the water levy, which results in degradation of service, which in turn leads to further dissatisfaction and increased unwillingness to pay — a vicious circle.
Read Agathe’s full reports here: