Operation & maintenance of Water Supply Schemes

HARITIKA observation clearly indicates that actual response time for breakdown of the hand pumps is very high and generally it took one week of longer period. The one possible way to response was to highlight the issue and wait for the response from the Government agencies and other way is to work for developing sustainable solution.

The access to safe water has been largely undermined by poor operation and maintenance (O&M). The contributing factors are:
  • Poor ownership and awareness by communities about their rights and responsibilities
  • Poor capacities, willingness and ownership by panchayats to maintain water supply systems
  • Limited accountability mechanisms for citizens to hold panchayats accountable for the provision of safe water
  • Lack of spare parts and tools
  • Limited availability of mechanics and lack of motivation/incentives

Operation & maintenance of the created sources [installed hand pumps] for proper functioning is one of the key issues and without proper arrangements for O & M only creation of sources has no meaning.After the detail assessment it has been decided to address the critical problems of repair and maintenance of the hand pumps and our Water Supply Schemes too. Because in our schemes also the problem of Operation & Maintenance of schemes as in the villages, skilled person with essential tools are not available therefore in any problem the committee has to call mechanic from the nearest town area. It takes time of more than one month.

To overcome this, and improve rural water supply, HARITIKA is seeking instances where better O&M has improved the water supply with the support of Just a Drop. We tried to implement the modalities that will help improve O&M and consequently, the availability and quality of water

  • Through this effort we have been able to provide regular safe drinking water supply to the villagers of 48 villages while in remaining 4 villages our continuous efforts are in process
  • These efforts have also reduced the time and cost of repairing & maintenance of water sources that have ensured sustainability of facilities provided to the villagers.
  • In 10 villages electric water supply system has been converted into solar based water supply system that has made system more sustainable.
  • Due to this project, Village Water & Sanitation Committee of all the 52 intervention villages has become more active and recognized by the villagers as an authority.
  • After our intervention the community of project villages have most importantly are gaining the skill of self-management. Now due to this skill they can manage and make sustainable any new communal project in their village.
  • Due to regular testing of water especially on bacterial parameters, the community either using hand-pumps or wells or HARITIKA water supply schemes, have become more aware about the safe drinking water. Now the VWSC has also started using bleaching powder and cleaning of water supply tanks
In villages, a belief among community about the sustainability of drinking water supply has been developed that has also resulted in sense of ownership among them.