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Issue 30: Connecting the Poor: Dealing with Connection Fee Hang Ups (May 2007)

  • Author: ADB Water for All
  • Create Time: 03/12/2012 11:32:50
  • Last Update Time: 07/29/2015 14:02:20
Archives Issue 30, May 2007   
Champion Focus News Actions Knowledge Calendar

Connecting the Poor
Dealing with Connection Fee Hang Ups

Steep connection charges bar many of Asia’s poor from receiving piped water in their homes. They also encourage corruption as some water utility employees find a lucrative livelihood in installing illegal connections, which ultimately increases water losses and decreases revenues of utilities. But are connection charges—steep or otherwise—really unavoidable? And if yes, how can they be turned into less of a barrier than they are today? This issue highlights local actions that show how reducing or stretching the payment of connection charges can fast-track piped water connections for Asia’s urban poor.

Champion of Reform

Salma Sadikha on Making Water Connection Barriers Disappear

Bangalore’s Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) knows something many utilities have yet to accept—connecting the poor increases revenues and reduces water losses. “So we make it easy for them by reducing connection charges and relaxing eligibility requirements,” says Salma Sadikha, BWSSB’s Social Development Specialist. Forty-three slum communities now have piped connections, and 300 more can expect theirs within the next 5 years.



Free Access to Water—Who Buys It?

Political leaders want people to get it. Activists say people have a right to it. Customers are willing to pay for it. And commercial banks and development agencies can help finance it. So why is access to water still a problem? Steep connection charges seem to be a major culprit, and some experts have begun questioning the need for them.

India: Bangalore Slums Get Bargain Connections

More than 10,000 households in 43 of Bangalore’s slum communities recently won bragging rights over many of the city’s poor—they now have water meters installed in their homes, and safe water flowing from their faucets. A play-it-by-ear strategy and an attractive water reform package from Bangalore’s water utility did the trick. Will the 300 Bangalore slums pipelined for a similar initiative yield the same successes?

Philippines: Water and Small Pipes: What a Slum Wants, What a Slum Needs

A large water utility risking piped water connections to slum communities? What was a strange proposition a few years back is now a done deal in Manila’s Kabisig neighborhood. In 4 short months, households had piped water costing just 20% of what they used to pay private vendors. And 3-year installment schemes for connection fees sweetened the deal. Can other slums duplicate this feat?



Tajikistan: New project to design institutional framework for improving water systems management

Drinking water supply systems in Tajikistan’s rural areas are managed by multiple agencies with overlapping functions, causing confusion among service providers, regulators, and consumers. An ADB grant for small water projects, to be piloted in Jomi District, will clarify institutional roles by designing a new framework for managing these systems.

Philippines: Follow-up project to enhance sustainability of Liloan PDA

Through an ADB pilot and demonstration activity (PDA) grant in 2004, the Liloan municipality in Central Philippines received the benefits of a new wastewater treatment facility (WTF) that filtered the town’s wastewater before being discharged into the sea. A follow-up PDA will ensure the WTF’s financial sustainability and keep Lilo-an healthy and its waters pollution-free.

ADB President opens 40th Annual Meeting with vision of prosperity shared by all

At ADB’s 40th Annual Meeting in Kyoto in May, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda highlighted the Water Financing Program (2006-2010) as an example of ADB’s commitment to more fruitful investment collaborations with development partners. “As we turn now to the challenges ahead, let us keep our shared aspiration for development squarely in our sights,” Kuroda said.

People’s Republic of China: ADB supporting environmental improvement in Hefei Municipality

A $150 million loan will bring efficient wastewater management, flood control, and transport services to millions of people in Hefei municipality, Anhui province in the PRC. ADB’s Amy Leung says, “The project aims to improve the quality of life in Hefei by reducing the incidence of waterborne and airborne diseases, road accidents, and vehicle emissions.”

Steering Committee of 1st Asia-Pacific Water Summit convenes

The Asia-Pacific Water Forumorganized the 1st Steering Committee (SC) meeting of the Asia-Pacific Water Summit in April. SC members concurred that the Summit, scheduled in 3-4 December, should promote water as a top national priority. ADB VP Liqun Jin says, “We are confident that the summit will exert great impact on water development in the Asia Pacific region.”

ADB to support 8th UNSGAB Session on Water and Sanitation

ADB supports the 8th Session of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board in Shanghai on 31 May-1 June. The meeting will secure Asian governments' commitment to implement the Hashimoto Action Plan (HAP) . ADB will open the Asian Dialogue on Water and Sanitation and issue a joint statement with UNSGAB Chair HRH the Crown Prince of Orange on ADB’s support for the HAP.

South Asian Water Utilities Network successfully launched

The new South Asian Water Utilities Network (SAWUN) was successfully launched last month with Brig. Iftikhar Haider, Managing Director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, as chair of the steering committee. SAWUN identified nonrevenue water reduction, financial and asset management, and desalination technologies as its priority agenda for members’ capacity development.


Water Actions

Singapore: Technology Turns Water Weakness into Strength

Singapore’s water dependence on neighbor Malaysia ends as the country’s investment on technology pays off. A desalination plant worth $119M now produces 114 million liters of potable water a day for the country’s four million citizens. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says Singapore’s reliance on Malaysia helped the country turn its “vulnerability into strength.”

Philippines: Manila Water Successfully Reduces Water Losses Using Multipronged Strategy

Strategic zoning, technological upgrades, and a strict focus on customer satisfaction are just some of the components of Manila Water's multipronged strategy for reducing nonrevenue water. The strategy brought down systems losses from 63% in 1997 to below 30% in 2006, but can it elevate the company to the ranks of Asia’s best water utilities?


Knowledge Products

Photo Essay: ADB Helps to Improve Flood Protection in Azerbaijan

View images of Azerbaijan’s northeast region that would soon benefit from a $22 million loan—ADB’s first loan to the country. The flood mitigation project will bring solutions to the region’s recurrent floods and assist the Azerbaijan Government promote rural growth and raise rural incomes through improved water resources management and control.


Water Calendar
29-31 May NARBO Workshop on Water Rights (Manila, Philippines)
The workshop will explore the issues and challenges surrounding the application of water rights in Asian river basin organizations.
29-31 May World Congress on Advancing Sustainable Hydropower (Antalya, Turkey)
The Congress will focus on energy and climate change, innovation in renewable technologies, and sustainability-optimizing outcomes.
31-May-1 Jun 8th Session of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board—Asian Dialogue on Water and Sanitation (Shanghai, People’s Republic of China)
The Asian Dialogue’s key objective is to secure Asian Government’s commitment to implement all actions in the Hashimoto Action Plan.
13-15 Jun UNESCO-IHE International Symposium: Water for a Changing World (Delft, The Netherlands)
The event will focus on water security, environmental integrity, urbanization, governance, and information and communications.
20-22 Jun Indowater 2007 Expo & Forum (Jakarta, Indonesia)
The event will showcase the latest solutions and technologies for municipal water, sewerage, and industrial wastewater management.



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