Year of Publishing

Water for People


Private Sector Provision of Rural Water Services A desk study for Water for People


Community-based management remains the dominant approach to rural water supplies in Africa, Asia and Latin
America, though private sector provision is growing in importance

Self-supply offers a low-cost way to expand privately-managed supplies at a household level, though, with the notable exception of Zimbabwe, few formal initiatives have been scaled up beyond a pilot stage

Despite being the most common mode of rural water supply, handpumps are rarely managed by the private sector

Privately operated decentralised water treatment kiosks have emerged over the last decade (chiefly in India), though at this early stage have captured only a small share of the rural water market

Operation of piped schemes serving small towns is the most common modality of private sector involvement in rural water supplies

Full recovery of capital costs through user fees appears to be rare, particularly in rural Africa, thus widespread capital investment by private enterprises and entrepreneurs remains unlikely without external subsidies

Bibliographical Information:

Foster (2012) Private Sector Provision of Rural Water Services. A desk study for Water for People , Water for People , Denver, CO, USA


Private Sector Provision of Rural Water Services
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