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Exploring the bottom end of the water ladder

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:09 by Sally Sutton, Ato E. Mamo, John Butterworth, D. Dimtse
The revised Universal Access Plan of the Ethiopian government, encourages low cost individual/ community initiatives in improved rural water supply. This should provide a major contribution to the target of 98% coverage by 2015. However federal and regional governments are worried about water quality implications and what level of household initiative should count within coverage statistics. In response to this concern, RiPPLE has carried out a comprehensive study of low cost water supplies, from unlined wells with rope and bucket, to protected handpump supplies in one region, SNNPR. This paper presents some of the preliminary results of the study, particularly in terms of water quality, quantity and reliability. It combines the concerns of users and government in proposing a simple method of source assessment which can be as effectively applied to the bottom rungs of the water technology ladder as to conventional supplies and suggests a continuum between them.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


SUTTON, S. ... et al, 2011. Exploring the bottom end of the water ladder. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). The future of water, sanitation and hygiene in low-income countries - Innovation, adaptation and engagement in a changing world: Proceedings of the 35th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough, UK, 6-8 July 2011, 4p.p.


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