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.
The research responds to emerging global norms intended to reconcile natural resource management with poverty alleviation with potential to transform development practice, if they effectively support rights to natural resources and sustainable livelihoods.
Land reform remains a key element in efforts to redress South Africa’s legacy of historic injustice, but is an arena of intense debate about the impact of farming scale on agricultural productivity and rural incomes.