Presentation of SWIFT’s semi-urban approach to WASH in Kinshasa
On May 16, 2018 in Kinshasa, Oxfam and its partners brought together representatives of 25 international and Congolese organisations working on water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The meeting began with Oxfam, Tearfund and the SWIFT Consortium team introducing the SWIFT programme, a four-year multi-stakeholder project that has been running since 2014 in fragile contexts in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The program aims to achieve sustainable access to water and sanitation while encouraging the adoption of better hygiene practices among 1,730,000 people, including 1,400,000 in the DRC.
The team then discussed the benefits and challenges of the payment by result model and how to implement WASH programmes in fragile contexts.
People were interested to hear how SWIFT has been successfully implementing a Payment by Results programme, which had never been done in the DRC before.
Despite the particularly fragile context in North and South Kivu, the SWIFT programme was able to reach, and even exceed, expected results. For instance, during phase 1 of the project, 97.0% of beneficiaries observed and interviewed were able to demonstrate 3 hand washing actions and 94.1% were using the water points built by SWIFT.
The rest of the meeting focused on the semi-urban approach of the programme.
The SWIFT team had to adapt their sanitation approach to the semi-urban context. Indeed, in the East of the country, a large part of the population that benefited from the SWIFT programme lives in what are called “semi-urban environments”. This designation refers to settlements of more than 5,000 people, urbanised to a certain extent, that are not officially recognised as cities and whose governance capacities are not sufficient to ensure sustainable water, hygiene and sanitation services.
Unlike rural areas (villages), where the SWIFT program is implemented through the standardised ‘Healthy Villages and Schools’ approach, in semi-urban environments, which can be very diverse, the program had to be adapted to suit different contexts. An approach that has been implemented successfully is that of the ASUREP model (Associations des usagers d’Eau Potable).
Finally, the sustainability indicators were presented by the team, such as the technical choice of quality equipment; taking into account natural and less expensive options for the community; the reinforcement of institutional capacity through the state’s recognition of theASUREPs; the strengthening of the link and solidarity between the communities as well as the setting up of an acceptable price for water services.
Interactions between all the participants were lively and fruitful. The following organisations were present: TEARFUND, HYFRO, SANRU, MSH, PNEVA, DNH, USAID, ADIR, KFW, PATH, CONSORTIUM WASH, SIDA, ADF, UNICEF, GIZ/GIS, OMS, DFID, ENABEL, JSI, SNHR, MINISTERE DEVELOPPEMENT RURAL, IMA WORLD.
Since 2014, the Sustainable WASH In Fragile Contexts (SWIFT) Consortium has been working to provide access to water and sanitation and to encourage the adoption of basic hygiene practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Kenya.
Various partners implement SWIFT’s actions in both target countries, in collaboration with governments as well as water providers, including utilities. The consortium is led by Oxfam, and includes Tearfund and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) as global members.
The SWIFT programme is funded by UK aid from the UK government under a Payment by Results (PbR) contract.