Community management of handpumps has been the accepted mode of thinking for rural water supply over three decades in Africa. However, despite billions invested in rural handpumps one in three handpumps do not work in rural Africa. This represents a huge wasted investment and is associated with high but avoidable health, welfare and livelihood costs. Encouragingly, the risk of handpump breakdown bears all the hallmarks of an insurable risk.
Urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa are growing rapidly. While there has been considerable attention paid to the challenges of African mega-cities, the experiences of smaller urban areas have been relatively neglected. Secondary cities, with populations of less than half a million, are absorbing two-thirds of all urban population growth in Africa.
Living in rural Africa has long been synonymous with being poor and water insecure. In 2012 more Africans will have access to mobile communication services than improved water services. Africa's rapid growth in mobile handset ownership and mobile network coverage can provide a key platform to resolve one of its oldest problems - safe and reliable water access.
The ADaPT (AIDS, Demographic and Poverty Trends) project aims to: