This is an ongoing compilation of statistics that shows that failure rates for water systems, latrines, and hygiene promotion campaigns are still high after decades of intervention.
Tanzania: national mapping shows 41% of 53,423 water points are not functional (Water Point Mapping Tanzania)
- South Africa: an informal survey of toilets at schools that fall within four of the National Health Insurance pilot districts found that at all 17 schools the toilets were in a shocking condition (AllAfrica, 2013)
- India: In Bihar, a common practice once the pit was full
was to revert to the practice of open defecation. The percentage of the population going back to open defecation was close to 90% (an educated guess as there is no monitoring of latrine usage) (Tremolet & Binder, 2013).
- Haiti:A survey of 1096 water kiosks and 2266 water fountains showed that more than half of existing water kiosks are out of service in four geographical departments: Nord (63%), Sud (60%), Grand’Anse (59%) and Artibonite (53%) and only 58.4% of existing water fountains inventoried are functional (DINEPA, 2013)
- China: World’s biggest eco-toilet scheme fails: The dry toilets in Inner Mongolia’s Daxing eco-community have been quietly replaced after three years of bad smells, health problems and maggots (The Guardian, 2012)
- Cambodia: In areas where community-led total sanitation (CLTS) methods were used to promote latrine use, only about 15% of households with a latrine use the toilet regularly, while the rest keep going to the bush for defecation (WSP, 2012).
- Honduras: Of the 106 water systems assessed across Honduras, about half were in fact rehabilitations of existing systems, taking about one-third of the total investments made in the period under review (WASHCost, 2012)
- Kenya: the construction of new school latrines actually increased health risks among girls because hygiene behavior did not improve (L.E. Greene et al, 2012)
- Sierra Leone: A comprehensive water point mapping exercise (more than 28,000 water points) in 2012 showed the rate of damage of public water points is high and rises rapidly with point age. Among points built in 2007, 31% are impaired, and 17% are broken down. Furthermore, up to 40% of protected in-use points providing insufficient water during the dry season. (Sierra Leone Ministry of Water Resources, 2012)
- Swaziland: A pilot water point mapping effort in 8 Tinkhundlas (sub-districts) beginning Nov 2010 showed that out of 2689 water points, 58.6% are functional, 11.5% are partially functional, and 29.9% are non-functional. (Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland Ministry of Natural Resources & Energy, Department of Water Affairs, Water & Sanitation Point Mapping Pilot Project Report 2012)
- Ghana: In three districts (East Gonja, Akatsi, Sunyani West), more than 30% of the surveyed infrastructure was not functional, and as little as 2% was providing the basic level of service for which it was intended (Marieke Adank, IRC, 2012).
- Tanzania: One in four public kiosks were not functional at the time of an interview of 324 residents of Dar es Salaam (Listening to Dar, 2012)
- DR Congo: Water mapping in three provinces gave these results (Hambadiahana & Tolsma, 2012. Water Point Mapping in DR Congo)
Percentages/Number Province Bas Congo Province Equateur Province Kinshasa Water Points
Non-functional or partially functional protected water points
Non-functional or partially functional boreholes
Potability of protected water points
Protected water points without management system
Protected water points without a water payment mechanism
Sub-Saharan Africa: In a survey of 23 EC-funded projects in six sub-Saharan countries (European Court of Auditors, 2012):
- Overall, equipment was installed as planned and was in working order.
- However, fewer than half of the projects examined delivered results meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
- While the projects examined promoted the use of standard technology and locally available materials: they were sustainable in technical terms, for a majority of projects, results and benefits will not continue to flow in the medium and long term unless non-tariff revenue is ensured; or because of institutional weaknesses (weak capacity by operators to run the equipment installed).
- Kenya: Of 100 water systems assessed (built between 2006-2010), 75% are still in use. 45% are affected by minor technical issues, or even serious damages, although they have the potential to be remediated. 14% of the systems are non-functional (Welthungerlife, 2011)
- Liberia: Of about 7000 improved water points in rural areas, 60% are fully functional, 29% are broken down, and 10.7% are working but have problems (Liberia WASH Consortium, 2011)
- Liberia: The first systematic sampling of water points and study of water quality in Monrovia found that 57% of the water points were contaminated by E. coli, which is an indicator of widespread fecal contamination. The health standard for E. coli is none present/detected. (How a City Gets its Drinking Water: A Case Study – Capital City of Monrovia, Liberia, Vincent W. Uhl, Ashish Daw and Jaclyn A. Baron, 2012)
- 100% of the unprotected hand-dug wells sampled showed the presence of E. coli.
- 75% of the kiosks sampled showed the presence of E. coli.
- 67% of the LWSC city water taps sampled showed the presence of E. coli.
- 52% of the protected hand-dug open wells fitted with hand pumps showed the presence of E. coli.
- 44% of the drilled wells fitted with hand pumps showed the presence of E. coli.
- Rwanda: In a baseline survey of 126 water points in the District of Kicikuro, only 41% provided enough water for the community every day of the year. 50% of the water points had been down for more than 1 day in the last month. 55% of the communities reported that they had no spare parts on hand for the water system (Water For People, 2011)
- Iraq: An evaluation of a WASH program in Iraq found no positive outcomes resulting from the hygiene campaign (NCA, 2011)
- Sierra Leone: A survey of all existing water access points across three districts (2,859 structures) found only 30% of the structures in place were found to be capable of delivering access to safe water throughout the year (Fondation Pro Victimis).
- Afghanistan: nationally, 45% of water supply systems in public schools need extensive repair or replacement; also 45% of toilets in public schools need extensive repair or replacement (UNICEF, 2012)
- Bangladesh: nationally, 56% of the toilets in public schools need extensive repairs. While 42% of schools report providing soap for handwashing, soap was found in only 17% of schools (UNICEF, 2012)
- Bhutan: nationally, only 60% of the boys’ toilets, 70% of the girls’ toilets and 70% of the water supply schemes in public schools are functional (UNICEF, 2012)
- India: In public schools across the country, 37% of the toilets need repair (UNICEF, 2012)
- Maldives: In public schools across the country, 27% of the toilets need extensive repair or replacement (UNICEF, 2012)
- Pakistan: In public schools nationally, 39% of the water supply systems and 43% of the toilets need extensive repair or replacement (UNICEF, 2012)
- Africa: RWSN estimates that only two out of three handpumps are working at any time. (RWSN, 2010)
- Kenya: 2010 pilot mapping showed that, of 1011 ‘improved’ water points (all source types), average rates of non-functionality were 28% (West Pokot), 32% (Kyuso), and 20% (Mbeere North) (SNV 2010)
- Bangladesh: among 972,865 existing water options (for arsenic mitigation), 29% are not active (Government of Bangladesh, 2009)
- Sub-Saharan Africa: Approximately 50,000 rural water points are broken (Skinner, 2009)
- Kenya: Only 58% of rural water sources are functional (Kenya Ministry of Water & Irrigation. 2009. Sample Survey on Water Quality and Functionality of Water Systems mentioned here).
- Zimbabwe: A study in Mt Darwin District found 38% of the boreholes studied not functioning. Average downtime for the boreholes was 3 weeks (University of Zimbabwe, 2009)
- Tanzania (WaterAid 2009):
- 54% of 65,000 water points nationwide are operational; 75% of points that are only two years old.
- Nearly half (46%) of public improved water points in rural areas are not functioning.
- Almost half of all investment in rural water supply is effectively wasted.
- Up to 7.5 million rural Tanzanians lack access to clean and safe water due to functionality problems.
- Pakistan: (Asian Development Bank Independent Evaluation Group, 2009) an independent study of ADB’s assistance to rural water supply in the Punjab Province identified, among others, these major concerns:
- 20% of the subprojects are nonfunctional
- only 43% of community based organizations responsible for subprojects are functional and their capacity remains weak.
- Nepal: A study of Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) effectiveness showed while all but one of the communities studied had achieved open-defecation free (ODF) status, there was evidence of fairly widespread non-compliance in the form of now-hidden open defecation (WaterAid 2009)
|COUNTRY||TOTAL # OF HANDPUMPS||% NON-FUNCTIONING|
(Estimates in table above from RWSN, 2009)
- Nepal: A national survey of households in 36,038 wards found only 18% of the population with a water supply are served by well functioning
water points/systems; 39% are served by points that need minor repair, 12% by points that need major repair, 21% by points that need rehabilitation, 9% by points that need reconstruction, and 1.6% by points that are non-refunctionable (NMIP, 2011).
- Timor-Leste: An assessment of all (134) rural water supply systems in Covalima district found: of 54 piped systems, 44% were fully functional, 30% partially functional, and 26% not functioning. Of the 80 hand pumps, 11 were under construction, 41% of completed systems were fully functional and 59% not functioning (Oxfam, 2008).
- Bolivia: in over 100 communities visited in the rural municipality of Tiraque, fewer than ten had no water system, 17 were functioning per Bolivia government norms, and the rest were providing sub-par services, requiring anywhere from complete rehabilitations to minor repairs to ensure water of adequate quantity, quality, and continuity was being provided to all citizens (Fogelberg, 2013).
- India: An estimated 50% of subsidized toilets remain unused or are being used for purposes other than sanitation. (WSP. 2007)
- South Africa: In a sample of water and sanitation projects in all nine provinces, the compliance level for 1067 completed household water projects was only 2.6% – more than 97% of the projects did not comply with policy requirements, norms and standards. The compliance level for 517 completed household sanitation projects was 0% – that is, none of the completed household sanitation projects complied with policy requirements, norms and standards (CSIR, 2007).
- Sub-Saharan Africa: Figures collated by the Rural Water Supply Network in 2007 indicate an average rate of 36% non-functionality for hand pumps across 21 countries. This level of failure represents a total investment of between $1.2 and $1.5 billion in the last 20 years. (Triple-S, 2009)
- Ghana: In a study in rural areas, 60% of new latrines (0-2 years) are being used (Rodgers, 2007).
- Haiti: In Port-de-Paix there were no functioning public water sources in the city and 14 of 19 different sites throughout the city that investigators tested for water quality were bacterially contaminated (Center for Human Rights & Global Justice, 2007).
- Ethiopia: A survey found that 29% of handpumps and 33% of mechanized boreholes in rural areas were not functioning because of maintenance problems. (UNDP, 2006)
- Rwanda: An estimated one-third of the rural water infrastructure requires urgent rehabilitation (UNDP, 2006)
- Swaziland: 22.9% (national) and 27.9% (Lubombo region, the study area) of the water schemes were non-functional (Government of Swaziland, Rural Water Supply Board, 2005).
- Sub-Saharan Africa: It has been estimated that between 20% and 70% of installed handpumps are not functioning – see Figure 1. (RWSN)
- Sub-Saharan Africa: In a study of 11 countries, a range of 35-80% (on the country) of rural water systems were identified as functional (Sutton, 2004)
- Kenya: In western Kenya, nearly 50% of borehole wells dug in the 1980s, and subsequently maintained using a community-based maintenance model,
had fallen into disrepair by 2000 (Miguel & Gugerty, 2004).
- Ecuador: a sustainability study conducted by the Secretariat for Water found that 13% of the systems were sustainable, 29% with mild problems, 20% with severe problems, and 38% broken down (mentioned in OAS)
- Peru: In Loreto Region, it is estimated that 66% of water systems function and 42% provide potable water, while 15% of latrines are considered usable (Calderon, J., 2004. Agua y saneamiento: El caso del Perú rural. Lima, Peru: ITDG.)
- India: a quarter of India’s water infrastructure is believed to be in need of repair (Ray, I., 2004, “Water for all? Peri-urban and rural water delivery options: The case of India.” Presentation: UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group Fall Colloquium Series, 6 October)
- South Asia: The World Development Report estimates that more than one-third of existing rural water infrastructure is not functional (World Bank, 2004)
- Peru: In a study of 104 rural water systems, only 32% were deemed “sustainable”; 66% were deteriorated and 2% were broken down (WSP, 2003)
- Malawi: In 1997, a survey almost 900 tapstands found that less than 50% of the them were supplying water. This indicated a significant decline since the early 1980s when surveys showed over 90% functioning. (Kleemeier, 2000)