Rely on the informal sector to improve public services in marginal areas (slums, countries in crisis, countryside)

What we propose is the promotion and mobilization of local SMEs, which play a major role in urban water services, although many of them operate in the so-called informal sector. Because of this, they fall under the radar of government and donors. Bottom billion has developed tools that are tailored to the informal sector to assess the performance of these enterprises and to integrate them into strategies for strengthening services for low-income populations.

The tanks of a private network in Maputo

Some applications of this approach:

In Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), the water company's (ONEA) perimeter does not extend into the undeveloped neighborhoods. ONEA asked us to develop an efficient PPP model, where local operators buy water in bulk and redistribute it within the neighborhoods 

See the publication

In Maputo (Mozambique), the MWO network does not extend to the northern districts. It is 400 pequeno operadores privados who supply water from private wells. We have designed and implemented for AdM and AFD an innovative partnership with these operators 

See the publication n°1
See the publication n°2

In Cambodia, water services in rural areas are provided by 200 SMEs that treat river water before distributing it. AFD commissioned us to audit a social connection program implemented by GRET for 3 years.

See the publication n°1
See the publication n°2

What others do better: engineering large dams
and large water treatment plants
Photo: Wastewater treatment plant