Water supply for urban poor
Access to water supply is an important priority of slum dwellers and under-served communities. CURE believes that every poor household should get home connections for water, irrespective of the legality of their land spaces. These connections may be built incrementally, by gradually ramping up the supply points, improving water quality – pressure, timings, duration and quantity, and networking poor to supply systems. Community engagement is facilitated in the planning and oversight and has included mobilization of Water Committees (Pani Samittis). Reviews of Water Policies of donor and local bodies have been undertaken with the objective of reforming the utility and making it easier for the poor to connect to the system. It has supported implementation of a PPP project to set up a water kiosk with a community managed and paid water supply service.
The Jal Mission was designed to improve water services with waste water disposal systems in three wards of Delhi in partnership with the Delhi Jal Board. In a mission mode, construction crew broke ground to add new water lines/stand posts, repair the broken taps, repair their platforms and connect them to drains, change supply timings and increase quantity. Jal Samithis participated in the maintenance of the taps.
A citywide data base on access of urban poor to water and sanitation services is being developed under the Swatch Delhi Swasth Delhi project. Two wards in each of the 23 water zone have been covered and information generated through participatory tools. People’s concerns and needs have been integrated within a GIS-linked Community Based Information System (CBIS).
CURE studied the status of water supply and sanitation services in 4 water zones to understand people’s coping strategies, costs of ineffective supply arrangements, and estimate people’s willingness and affordability to pay for improved services. Spatial information on slum locations and footprint were integrated with network maps of DJB GIS in a CBIS Jal.
CURE undertook the India country study to review the poor-centricity of the ADB Water Policy and funded programmes to estimate capacity to achieve the MDGs. The study was part of a three country study that also included Bangladesh and Nepal. Three ADB water projects; Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Project (KUIDP II), Rajasthan Urban Infrastructure Development Project (RUIDP) and the Madhya Pradesh Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Project; were assess using quantitative and qualitative tools. The study concluded that the poor were generally excluded from water supply planning and service provision and service providers lacked capacity and willingness to engage with them. It also found that ADB loans were not specifically targeting the poor.
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CURE is supporting USAID FIRE (D) to implement a Slum Upgrading pilot in slums of Bhubaneswar to network poor households to city systems through formal connections and micro-finance assistance. The project has been implemented in three slum settlements through on and off site engineering for water supply and household toilets with legal and paid connections to city supplies. As clients, the poor are able to demand better services, with the PHEO augmenting the supplies. Administrative reforms were supported on reducing connection charges and simplifying procedures.