The reasons for poor water point functionality are complex; there is not a simple strong relationship between good governance and the functionality of rural water points. However, affordable maintenance and repair are one of the main predictors of rural water point functionality, pointing to the need to consider different models for the management of community boreholes. The use of existing community structures may increase functionality, but also compound inequalities. There are also major challenges for district-level repair and maintenance support, which were investigated in Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Moving away from community based management models can significantly improve the repair time for handpump boreholes by promoting links between government, professional service providers and communities to fund repairs. FundiFix in Kenya is one example of a performance-based funding model for maintenance of rural water services. The guarantee of fast repairs has reduced the downtime of rural water points in Kenya from a month to a few days. It now has over 80,000 registered and paying users in communities and schools with handpumps and piped systems.
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