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Learning from Different Models to Address Water Point Management in Karamoja: Apolou’s Integrated Community-Based Management System Plus (ICBMS+) Approach

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Case Studies | Technical Guidance
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This learning brief is part of a series bringing together experiences and lessons learned from the Apolou Resilience Food Security Activity (2017—2023). The briefs are designed for practitioners, including local government representatives, civil society organizations, and other actors working on issues related to climate change, water point sustainability and management, and sanitation.

This learning brief summarizes how the Apolou Activity piloted two slightly different operation and maintenance models for waterpoints in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda. Uganda endorsed community-based management of water point infrastructure in the 1980s, and more recent refinements of this approach have favored partnerships between communities and professional services providers. In Karamoja, Apolou worked with a social enterprise, Whave Solutions, and with Hand Pump Mechanics Associations and Save the Children, to ensure that community-based water user committees have the professional support they need to address infrastructure maintenance and breakdowns. This combination of community management with a professional area services provider is called integrated community-based management system plus (ICBMS+) in Uganda. A survey of water points in Karamoja in 2016 found that only around half (53%) were functioning at the time of the survey. After Apolou supported interventions and the application of ICBMS+, water point functionality rose to more than 95%. However, it remains unclear whether these improvements can be sustained without continued external professional and financial support.

To learn more about the Apolou RFSA, check out the additional briefs below: