Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
One in three handpump water systems in sub-Saharan Africa are non-functional at any given time. To better understand common water system breakdowns, data from Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda (each N>3600) were used to create a breakdown typology. This typology was used to examine how breakdown type varies by water system and management characteristics. Differences in breakdown type were identified based on water system type, age, management structure, and fee collection methods. To better understand ways that management committees can rehabilitate broken rural water systems, qualitative data from 18 communities in Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia were used to identify hardware and management rehabilitation pathways. These pathways show the specific steps and actors involved in rehabilitating broken water systems and failed water management committees. Communication with accessible technical experts was consistently seen as a reason for rapid rehabilitation. Understanding common breakdowns and rehabilitation pathways can inform programming for water system sustainability.