Cost-effective boreholes in sub-Saharan Africa

The paper sets out a conceptual framework for Cost Effective Boreholes (CEB) in subSaharan Africa. Using examples from the literature, it sets out six key factors and discusses thirteen elements that affect CEB. The elements are: operation and maintenance procedures; preference for local private sector drilling; borehole standards and designs; drilling equipment; procurement processes; contract packaging; programme and contract management; siting; construction supervision; test pumping requirements; evaluation of groundwater resources, hydrogeological data collection and storage; and regulation and private sector professionalism. Adherence to basic principles with respect to these elements can improve CEB provision. However more investment in human resource development, institutional strengthening, better monitoring and more transparent reporting is required. The thirteen elements of the CEB conceptual framework could be used to benchmark the drilling sector in a particular country and thus raise incentives to make improvements but this requires international as well as national endorsement.