Impact evaluation of drinking water supply and sanitation programmes in rural Benin: The risk of vanishing effects, 2011.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB), the Netherlands in cooperation with BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).
During the period 2008–2010, the Evaluation Departments of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in cooperation with KfW Entwicklungsbank jointly conducted an impact evaluation of the rural water supply and sanitation programmes in Benin being supported by the donor community.
1 – The provision of new water points leads to a substantial increase in the use of improved water points as the main source of drinking water, both during the dry season and the rainy season and both for non-poor and poor households. It also substantially increases the number of litres per capita per day collected, although poor and large households consume less per capita. Nevertheless, a considerable share of households continues to use traditional water sources, instead of or in addition to the newly installed water point.
2 – At source, water from improved sources is of much better quality (in terms of E. coli contamination) than water from traditional sources. However, this quality difference practically vanishes at point of use as a result of recontamination during transport and storage. Rainwater at point of use has the same quality as water at point of source from an improved source. The impact of water point installation on point-of-use quality is thus close to zero. Improved and new household storage containers strongly reduce point-of-use E. coli contamination.
3 – A new water point considerably reduces the time taken to collect water, particularly for communities that have obtained an improved water source for the first time. However, water collection time is still substantial in many localities because of queuing. As women bear the responsibility of water collection in households, it is mostly women who save time. Time saved is mostly spent on housework and on economic activities that may provide income.