Multiple Use Water Services (MUS) Conference and Site visits

With Managing Director Dale Young departing back to the merry old land of Oz and with everyone back at MSABI HQ continuing on with their ever important and challenging work, I was fortunate enough to be offered a chance to “sit in” as the MSABI delegate at the Multiple Use Water Service (or MUS) Conference facilitated by Winrock International in Morogoro, which I attended for 3 days.  Asides from group  discussion and training, the conference also included the opportunity to conduct site visits at a number of MUS orientated interventions, in local villages around the city of Turiani.  For those of you reading who may not also know, MSABI is a key partner within the IWASH program based in Morogoro, also run with Winrock International as a core member.  The conference was attended by a large range of aid and development sector specialists, including NGO’s, implementers, researchers, policy developers and even independent film-makers.
In a very brief nut-shell, MUS is the principle of improving domestic health, livelihood / production and environmental outcomes through the evaluation and specific development of water service interventions.  Multiple Use Services requires different levels / tiers of water provision systems, determined through quality and quantity gap analyses, availability of different sources and assessment of potential end-user benefit.

The first two days involved workshops providing a background of MUS and review of MUS implementation and a brief trip to a rope pump workshop and a group discussion with local fundi’s and drilling contractors who operate out of Morogoro.
 Picture 1: Winrock Technical Lead, Muganyizi Ndyamukamia running through an exercise looking at possible sources allocated for potential end-uses.

Day 3 was spent exploring the use of gravity water network installations and multiple end-use beneficiaries at 3 main sites, Pemba, Nyakonge Maasai Sub-village, Msolokelo and one non-intervention or baseline village, Masimba.  First stop was to Masimba, were we received a very warm reception from the community who participated greatly in an open group discussion, facilitated by Winrock Representative, Muganyizi.  Masimba has applied to be included as a candidate for a gravity water supply network, which would greatly benefit the community members who currently have to undertake a 12 km round trip to gather water for cooking, cleaning and drinking

Picture 2: Community group discussion in Masimba Village

In Pemba and Msolokelo, we were able to review some of the gravity system tap installations and also to talk with some of the community members who are now looking to improve domestic food production and livelihoods through the increased access and reliability of the local water source, such as through the use of small kitchen gardens and improved animal husbandry with chickens and pigs.

Picture 3: Pemba Village.  The location of the gravity network water source is located in the high mountain range to the left and feeds a 60,000 L balance tank on a lower mountain (circled in red).  This then runs through network and splits at a junction to serve sub-villages further down the valley.

Picture 4: Kitchen garden in Pemba Village

A brief visit was also made to the end of a gravity fed line at Nyakonge Maasai Sub-village which is being utilised as a watering trough for the local graziers and Maasai cattle.  The use of this facility for watering the cattle reduces stress and impacts on the water-point infrastructure and possible contamination vectors affecting the resident community.

Picture 5: Local Maasai watering their cattle at the water trough

How are we tied in with all of this you may ask?  Well, MSABI has recently played a critical role in a USAID funded partnership with Winrock International through the roll-out of water-points within the Kilombero, which focuses on the principle aspect of MUS; providing clean, potable water for domestic use to improve community health.  In addition to attending the site visits which were very informative, this conference provided a great platform to discuss the future for some of these interventions and provide a basis for MSABI to investigate further projects geared towards MUS interventions, having already undertaken research for projects such as solar pump reticulation networks and drip irrigation systems.

Thank you again to all the Winrock members who facilitated the conference and all the other delegates for their input and discussion around Multiple Use Water Services.  It was great learning experience and opportunity to meet with so many like-minded individuals, discuss ideas and seek to overcome the challenges in providing improved water safety, accessibility and reliability.