User Involvement

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WSSSRP aims to impact on the lives of millions of Nigerians, the primary beneficiaries are the poor living in the urban, small towns and rural areas in the six focal States. At least 2 million inhabitants of the States will benefit directly from water supply infrastructure to be constructed or rehabilitated. Over 1 million direct beneficiaries will benefit from improved sanitation and hygiene practice.

To reach these number of people entails bringing water service provision closer to the end-user by supporting community-led organisations that take responsibility for planning and running water facilities. Community mobilisation officers from WSSSRP II help communities in small towns set up Water Consumer Associations (WCAs) to guide, and contribute to the installation of a funded water project. Later on, the WCAs collect water fees from users and use them to maintain their local water system. In rural areas WASHCOMS (water, sanitation and hygiene committees) perform a similar role.

More broadly the role of WCAs is to press for resources from Small Town Water Agencies (STOWAs), the new state-level agency responsible for small town water supply, to expand their reach.

WSSSRP II supports user involvement through:

• Organising community sensitisation and mobilisation meetings, planning workshops with particular focus involving women and the poor in the decision making process
• Facilitating the preparation of community ownership and management guidelines and strategy by stakeholders and follow up in small towns
• Building the capacity of WCAs in selected towns for effective ownership and management of their water infrastructure
• Training and assisting WCAs to develop water supply investment plans, and establishing resource mobilisation strategies such as revenue collection, setting up bank accounts, financial projections to cover operation and maintenance (O&M), replacement, expansion and designing tariff
• Providing training for WCAs to oversee construction works and O&M of constructed facilities