LightCastle Partners has recently signed a contract with Vitens Evides International B.V. (VEI) for the project titled “Comparative study on WASH Service Delivery Models for LICs”. VEI is one of the Dutch promotors and implementors of Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs), which are peer-support partnerships between water and sanitation utilities aiming to share knowledge and skills to make utilities stronger, healthier and more resilient.
According to experts, figures on the number of slum dwellers in Dhaka vary considerably, but an estimated 3.4 million people are currently living in more than 5,000 LIC areas. These LIC areas are built on either public or private land. Approximately 108,800 out of 884,000 people living in public LICs are customers of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) through 1,174 legal water connections. For LICs built on private land, it is estimated that half of the 2.4 million inhabitants have access to a legal water connection. So, in all, more than 2 million people living in LICs still do not have access to legal water connections. In these ‘unserved’ LICs, a multitude of NGOs and business enterprises are providing WASH services in a dispersed manner and following several unique service models and utilizing different technologies.
Unfortunately, to-date, there has been no publicly available, conclusive, comparative and independent research that investigated the feasibility, effectiveness and sustainability of these various WASH Service Delivery models for LICs that are being used in Dhaka.
To address this knowledge gap, VEI – who have since 2012 been working with DWASA on the Water Operators Partnership (WOP) model for delivering water supply to the LICs in Dhaka, with funding from the EKN – has commissioned LightCastle to conduct a comparative study on the different WASH Service Delivery Models (such as the Community Based Organization model and how it compares for example to the Water ATM model) for supplying water to LICs in Dhaka.
The output of this research would make it easier to decide the applicability of a particular WASH Services Delivery Model in a given situation. The outcome of the study will be used further to shape the future LIC activities of the following iterations of WOP and to advise DWASA on its LIC policies and strategies.