Tag Archives: life-cycle costs

IRC showcasing WASHCost Calculator at Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India

WASHCost Calculator

IRC’s WASHCost Project will be one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India. IRC will present the WASHCost Calculator; an online tool that helps professionals to plan for WASH services that are built to last.

The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India is being co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It will coincide with World Water Day on March 22, 2014. The fair is also supported by the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.

In 2011, the Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (RTTC)  to develop toilets without connections to sewer, electrical, or water systems. Sixteen of those prototypes will be on display in India.

The WASHCost Calculator takes into account everything from construction, finance, and installation, to maintenance, repairs and eventual replacement. It raises issues such as who owns the infrastructure or who is responsible for replacement. It helps you to think about how you are going to maintain the service before you’re trying to build it. The online tool is designed to compare data across organisations and is dynamically updated, growing smarter with each additional project. And the tool is now online at:  http://washcost.ircwash.org

IRC has created a poster, which gives an example of how the WASHCost Calculator can be used for rural sanitation in India.

Source:

  • IRC selected as an exhibitor for the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India, IRC, 20 Mar 2014
  • Girindre Beeharry and K. VijayRaghavan, Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India – Solutions for India and the World, Impatient Optimists, 10 Mar 2014

 

Sustaining sanitation services costs 5-20 times more than building a latrine

Sustaining sanitation is much more expensive than building latrines. The 20-year cost of sustaining a basic level sanitation service per person in certain countries is anywhere from 5-20 times the cost per person of building the latrine in the first place.

This is one of the key findings on costing sustainable sanitation services, which are being highlighted in the first month of the WASHCost campaign. The campaign was launched on 24 October, and every month until March 2013, it brings a roundup of fast facts from the WASHCost research project, experiences from several organisations which are using the life-cycle cost approach and ways to get involved.

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WASH by numbers: the latest on cost benchmarks, economic returns and handwashing

One of the most quoted WASH statistics was recently “downgraded”. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, not $8 but “only” $4 is returned in economic returns through increased productivity. This recalculation [1], says the World Health Organization, is mainly a result of higher investment cost estimates and the more complete inclusion of operation and maintenance (O&M) costs.

Providing a better insight into O&M costs has been one of the achievements of the WASHCost project of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. WASHCost has published minimum benchmarks for costing sustainable basic WASH services in developing countries [2]. The project collected data from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Andhra Pradesh (India) and Mozambique.

The main message is that spending less than the minimum benchmarks will result in a higher risk of reduced service levels or long-term failure. NGOs claiming that “US$20 can provide clean water for one person for 20 years” have clearly forgotten to include annual recurrent costs for operation and maintenance, capital maintenance and direct support.

The real cost for 20 years of basic water supply from a borehole and handpump would be, per person,  between US$ 20 and US$ 61 for construction plus US$ 3-6 every year to keep it working. In total for the 20 years this would amount to  US$ 80 to US$ 181 per person.

Similarly, for the most basic sanitation service, a traditional pit latrine, the combined costs would be US$ 37 – 106 per person over 20 years.

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