President of the Water Management Committee, Eric, admits that applying the life-cycle cost approach has been a learning process for the community. However, he is confident that villagers are convinced of the need to invest as they realise that their contribution guarantees good use and maintenance of the water pump. It also helps to reduce dependency on international NGOs or aid agencies for assistance.
Eric explains how the committee can afford to buy tools, such as padlocks or water containers, with the villagers’ monthly contributions and with the surplus money the committee can invest in income generating activities. In June, for example, the community invested in the purchase of a considerable amount of smoked fish from the local market, which is located at 15km from the village. The committee then sold it back to the village at a fair price, which generated more revenue for the management of the water point.
Concern project manager for WASH Felix Kabemba works with communities in Manono, ensuring that they understand the long term benefits of water point installations.