||90 villages in
the Hodhs, Mauritania.
UN-Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA); funded by
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In the past, drinking water was supplied by
unsustainable and poorly maintained, hand-pumps installed years
ago in this remote area of Mauritania. Maintenance was supposed
to be provided by the administration in Nouakchott, but there
was access neither to spare parts nor to repairpersons.
Consequently, populations drank unsafe water from polluted
The aim of the project was to make the local
population responsible for the management of its own water point
and to secure an appropriate technical and commercial
environment. The objectives included:
The creation of a private network for selling spare parts,
fostering links between production/importer/regional
traders/ local distribution;
The creation of a water-point committee in each village
that would take responsibility for the management and cost
of pump maintenance and for sanitation around the water
The training of local private repairpersons.
at local level.
||At the end of the
assistance period, more than 90% of the villages were
autonomously funding the maintenance of their pumps, with
trained help from the local private sector (repairpersons, spare
parts traders, etc.).
Remoteness of villages and access problems in
semi-desert areas can be overcome by basing the work on
Train all the workers in the water sector, and produce a
manual to prevent misunderstanding of the working method;
Presence in the field, transparency and dissemination of
For the pump spare parts, rely on an existing commercial
distribution network familiar to the local population; make
the price of each spare part publicly known; analyse the
technical, human and financial context clearly before
setting up such a network.
Have sufficient funds available for the participatory
approach, so as to involve users in taking charge of the
equipment on a sustainable basis: any new project should add
at least 20% of the cost of the physical investments for
funding these measures.
The time required for apprenticeships and changes in
behaviour is an incontrovertible factor. The duration and
continuity of support projects must be adapted to the
context, which must therefore be well known, (the current
approach is guided more by the supply end).
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Two UN Plaza
New York NY 10017 USA
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com