The use of Multiple use services in developing the WASH sector

The Use of Multiple use services in developing the WASH sector.

There are different ways in which people use water. They use water concurrently for domestic purposes, cropping, gardening, gardening, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, tree growing, food processing, brick making, market places, weaving, handcrafts and other small businesses.  However most water projects do not put these needs into consideration which leads to:

  • Small-scale productive uses, particularly at and around homestead
  •  Often not provided for
  •  And sometimes explicitly prohibited.

As consequences there are limited livelihoods options for users which hinder the ability to climb out of poverty reduced sustainability and performance of services. Hence a research was carried out it aiming at a concrete, integrated, poverty-reduction focussed approach to providing people with appropriate and sustainable water and sanitation services that meet their multiple water needs.

This approach is called ‘’multiple use water services or mus.’’ A mus approach addresses the challenges mentioned above by recognizing that people‘s water needs are integrated and are part and parcel of their manifested livelihoods, and that the necessity to better meet people‘s multiple water needs is a main driver for integration within the water sector itself.

Objectives of mus:

  • Users utilize water for productive activities and improve their economic situation
  • Service is improved encouraging demand for users
  • Users increase their capacity and willingness to pay for the service
  • Users have access to water at low cost and appropriate quantity and quality

It’s always good to put much focus on the future benefits and the water demand.

MUS as an approach

  1. Peoples multiple needs  as a starting point
  2. Service delivery approach
  3. Scales and levels
  4. Integration
  5. Institutional change to move beyond barriers

Levels of MUS

  • Homestead
  • Community
  • System
  • Technology

How to provide multiple use services;

  • Understand the  demand
  • Establish the appropriate technologies
  • There should enough finance
  • establish regulations like for community level institutions
  • create the easy access since level of activities depend on access to services

Achieving MUS:

  • Action research
  • Evidence based advocacy
  • Recognize multiple-use in management
  • Expanding institutional mandate of sector organizations, starting from each one’s mandate
  • Coordination between sectors
  • Multi-stakeholder approaches

Since access to water is right to every human being on the planet earth, mus approach tries to address the challenges and the way forward to a better service delivery.

MUS brings about sector learning