Performance evaluation of the Secondary Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project (STWSSP)
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The Secondary Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project was approved by the Asian Development Bank on 26 October 2006 for a total amount of $71.1 million. The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) under the Local Government Division (LGD) of Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MLGRDC) was the executing agency (EA) of the Project. The Project was required to use a demand and performance driven approach to extend water supply and sanitation to approximately 8,53,000 people of 16 selected Pourashavas named Brahmanbaria, Choumuhani, Jessore, Jhenaidah, Joypurhat, Kishorganj, Lakshmipur, Madaripur, Moulvibazar, Mymensingh, Narsingdi, Natore, Netrokona, Pirojpur, Sirajganj and Sherpur.This project use some unique project management methodology and Project Performance, Monitoring & Evaluation (PPME) techniques to overcome the limitation of traditional project management framework used in government sector. The Project was highly relevant to ADB’s sector strategy for urban water supply and sanitation in Bangladesh & consistent with the Government’s policies of decentralization and beneficiary participation.The overarching outcome of the Project was aimed at providing sustainable access to improved and safe water and sanitation services in the project areas. More specific outcomes included (i) increase of quantity and quality of water supply; (ii) increase of sanitation coverage; (iii) improvement of community awareness of the link among proper hygiene, sanitation, and health; (iv) improvement of the capacity of Pourashavas to implement, operate, manage, and maintain water supply and sanitation investments; (v) adoption of improved management practices consistent with the Sector Development Program-Water Supply and Sanitation Sector in Bangladesh (SDP-WSSB) for greater efficiency and sustainability of local water utilities; and (vi) improvement of the capacity of DPHE to plan, design, supervise, monitor, and provide technical assistance to Pourashavas and local water utilities Water supply improvements under STWSSP had been implemented in two phases. In the first phase the existing piped water supply system within the Pourashava was rehabilitated and restored to its original capacity including 184.69 km water mains, 6 AIRP, 22 OHT, 1 SWTP and regeneration of 48 Production Well as well as 15,354 no.s house connections. As for instance, before rehabilitation total household connections were 45,567 no.s, which increased to 49,930 after the completion of phase- 1 and the total meter installed were 36,811 no.s in 16 Pourashavas. In Phase 2, the capacity and geographic coverage of the piped water supply systems were expanded to cover additional areas that are financially feasible. In this regard 85 production tube wall , 8 AIRP ,4 SWTP,16 OHT were newly constructed . This increased both the Production capacity from 5,894.67 m3/hr to 13,604 m3/hr and production time form 8-10 hrs/day to 10-15 hrs/day .Also 708 Km new distribution line and 101 Km of new transmission line were laid to increase the geographic coverage of the Pourashavas’s pipe water supply . An increase of 49856 new water connection and 64954 water meters installed increase the revenue financial health of the Pourashavas . The sanitation condition were improved by 62 new public toilet , 315 new community latrines ,160 new school latrine and 914 household latrines under the second phase .Also 26 septic tank sludge removal equipment and the construction of 11 sludge treatment plant increase the sanitation condition of the poura people Thus The Project well achieved its purposes, which were to improve health conditions, enhance urban household life quality, and accelerate commercial development through increasing availability of and access to safe water and improved environmental sanitation services, septage sludge management and facilities. The Project covered more than an additional 853,000 people in 16 Pourashavas; increased sanitation coverage from 74% to 100%; integrated physical facilities with hygiene education and community participation; and strengthened DPHE and Pourashava institutional capabilities. Pourashavas enhanced their technical capability for municipal facilities supervision and O&M and improved their financial performance, especially in tax assessment and collection. The future sustainability of operations of completed project facilities was supported through training of operations staff members at Pourashavas. Staff member training covered key operational areas, such as technical matters, maintenance issues, record keeping, and operations management. Particular attention was given to each SWTP and IRP installation, where close and frequent monitoring, to guard against river water level fluctuation, water quality and iron buildup in pumps, valves, and flow meters, was very important. In addition, extensive training was provided to upgrade Pourashavas’ administrative and financial capacities, to help them become financially self-sufficient and guarantee the sustainability of investments made under the Project. As reflected in the overall comparatively better income to expenditure ratios and observed by the project management team during implementation, training efforts for administrative and financial management need to be continued Considering the overall achievement of project objectives and benefits to the urban poor, the Project can be rated as successful.