During its Phase I in Niger, USAID WA-WASH promoted low cost technologies to provide people with sustainable water access. As a result, 120 drinking water points were installed or rehabilitated in the region of Zinder.
In each village, the Program advocated for the creation of a water point management committee (COGES in French). Elected by the community, each committee (composed of men and women) has to ensure the collection of monthly contributions estimated at 150 FCFA per household. This amount will help pay for the repairs of the community pump in case of breakdowns and its maintenace. The committee has been functional since the installation of the pump and its members have shown an extraordinary capacity to manage it effectively through the adoption of some technical measures. Their activities have helped reduce the duration of the pump breakdowns and avoid the interruption of water supply to the community. As of September 2016, the committee has savings of 48,000 CFA in its account to addrtess any maintenance or breakdown issues.
To raise money, the committee developed an innovative approach which consists of the collection of a small quantity of bean per household after crops are harvested. This simple and smart method allows the committee to sell the beans to generate more money for the maintenance and the repairs of the water point to ensure an interupted water supply for the community.
Moreover, the male members of the committee have also observed a strong leadership from women in the management of the water point. According to Ms. Mariam, an resident of Majeri: “Women are the first concerned with the water issues. By involving them in the water point management, our community aims to ensure the sustainability of this important water facility. We, women are very happy to be included in the management of the pump. This enables us to raise awareness on the importance of taking care of the pump.”