Development of a National Operation and Maintenance Framework for the Malawi Rural Water Sector

Support to the Malawi Water and Sanitation sector in the development of an Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Framework for the Rural Water supply sub-sector. The framework is intended to harmonise existing discreet project-based O&M systems currently under implementation in the country and thus underpin the sector wide approach to development.


Throughout Malawi

Project Period:

June to December 2008

Services Provided:

Assessment, Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Consultancy

Description of the Project:

The study team undertook a desk review of relevant documentation followed by six person-weeks of fieldwork in Malawi.  Visits were made to 15 districts in all three regions of the country and discussions were held with over 80 stakeholders: water users, area mechanics, water user committee and association representatives, District Water Office staff, NGO and CBO staff, representatives from District Assemblies, private enterprises and the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development (MoIWD) at regional and central level, as well as donor representatives.  Two reports were prepared:

  • Study Findings
    • sector context;
    • access and functionality of rural water supplies;
    • analysis of: District Assemblies, coordination, technology choice, construction quality and supervision community based maintenance, vandalism and theft, community contributions, politics, piped water supplies, boreholes with handpumps and site selection.
  • Proposed Operation and Maintenance Framework and Action Plan
    • Economic benefits
    • Handpump standardisation
    • Sensitised and Trained Communities, Facility Management Plan
    • Prevention is better than cure: Maintenance for Handpumps and Supply Chain
    • Service Contracts for Piped Supplies
    • Backup Support
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Adequate FinanceShared Responsibilities