Sustainable WASH service

Sustainability is a vital element in Max Foundation approach and already starts at the beginning of a project. A major challenge for WASH programs is to deliver lasting behavioural effects because all too often people lapse into their old habits. Sustainability starts where community mobilization starts. The community groups and project staff create a sense of urgency and the willingness to act and pay through community sensitization and education. Project activities can only be sustainable if the project beneficiaries fully support the approach and if they want to invest their own time, money and effort in it. Max Foundation uses a business driven approaches to ensure sustainability of interventions including the following elements of sustainability (FIETS approach).

Financial

- Own contribution: beneficiaries contribute to costs of water options ("ownership:) and latrines, only latrines for Hard Core Pore will be (partly) subsidized.

- Community ownership of facilities: beneficiaries are involved in every step of project circle.

- Involvement in operation and maintenance by training and making local caretaker responsible, including signing agreements.

- Strengthen market models & licensing of local entrepreneurs (sweepers/ masons) with the Union Parishad/local governement (UP) to continue the safe water and sanitation service. Max Foundation is working together with the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World bank on Sanitation Marketing. Sanitation marketing is the strategic step towards from collective mobilization to market mechanism that encourage households to move up the sanitation ladder.

- Max Foundation will generate O&M funds in against of each WASH facilities at schools and community so that all the options are always well managed and functional after phasing out the project.

Institutional

- Knowledge sharing local partners: Max Foundation works with pool of local partners who are in touch and sharing relevant knowledge. Max Foundation facilitate knowledge sharing meeting on specific topics on a quarterly basis.

- Strengthening horizontal linkages with the Union Parisads (UP). Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is the responsibility of local governments. Therefore, the Max-WASH community groups (CSGs and CYs) are directly linked to the UPs and their meetings are regularly attended by UP members.

- Clearly assigned of ownership and responsibilities of water options. Most of the water options are installed on private land, the PNGOs require the landowners to sign a quality of service agreement (i.e. lease agreement) with the union parishad (witnessed by neighbours) committing the landowner to: 

- The land owner signs an MoU with the UP in which he ensures access to the tube well for a period of 15 years and in which he/she ensures that water quality testing and maintenance will be properly done.

- Max-WASH trains caretakers that can repair the tube wells when they break.

- Submit drilling bore logs, installation designs and arsenic test results to the UP to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NoC).

Environmental

- The technical solution requires only hand pump and simple latrines which is CO2-neutral. Well digging is performed by specialized installers, ensuring that only the most suitable water layer is tapped.

Technical

- Sustainable materials: water options and latrines are constructed with sustainable materials from high standard quality. Locally produced and made of simple low maintenance components. Each well has a concrete platform, keeping the well hygienic and sustainable.

- Availability of skilled manpower: projects will need skilled manpower at various levels.  Water supply and sanitation technology demand trained manpower for repair and maintenance.

Social

- Participatory approach: community engagement at all stages of the project.

- Integrated approach: well/latrines/education demonstrates huge change/improvement to  beneficiaries.  Results are seen quickly which motivate people. Beneficiaries are less sick meaning improvement of productivity.

- Socially accepted: program focus on the most vulnerable groups, priority is given to areas with high proportion of hard core poor; local partner knows situation in project area and collaborate with local stakeholders.