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Pro-Poor Subsidies for Water Connections in West Africa

By Lauria, Donald T.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000020649
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.8 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Pro-Poor Subsidies for Water Connections in West Africa  
Author: Lauria, Donald T.
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Lauria, D. T. (n.d.). Pro-Poor Subsidies for Water Connections in West Africa. Retrieved from


Executive Summary: The Bank-Netherlands Water Partnership project aims at assessing the subsidy schemes in Senegal and Cote d?Ivoire for providing piped water to the poor. This study was commissioned to make a preliminary evaluation of the schemes in Dakar (in Senegal) and Abidjan (in Cote d'Ivoire). The fieldwork (April 22 through May 5, 2002) was made to explore whether those social connection programs might merit further study for application in other developing countries. Objectives and Approach The objective was to examine how well the schemes in West Africa for making social and ordinary connections are working. A social connection, aimed at the poor, is free, whereas an ordinary connection, aimed at wealthier households, must be paid for. A well-designed subsidy needs to meet four criteria: (a) it must respond to a genuine need, (b) it should serve the poor, (c) it should have low administrative costs, and (d) it should avoid perverse incentives. Study tasks included (a) examining the institutions, policies, and procedures for providing subsidized connections; (b) evaluating how well the schemes meet their objectives; and (c) identifying negative outcomes. Criteria for Social Connections The eligibility criteria for getting a social connection in Senegal are (a) applicants cannot be wealthy; -- (b) a house must exist on the lot that is to be served by the connection; (c) it must be a residence, not a business; (d) the connection cannot cross private property; (e) the applicant must have title to his house and land; (f) a pipe of the water network must be within 20 meters of where the connection is made to serve a single house, or within 100 meters to serve at least the houses for four applicants; and (g) if approved for a social connection, the applicant must pay a security deposit of CFAF 13,000 (US$19) against future water consumption charges; no charge, however, is made for the meter and lateral. The criteria for social connections in Cote d'Ivoire are similar. Social and ordinary connections render identical service because they are made with laterals and meters of the same diameter. Criterion (e) requires applicants to own their house and land, which implies that they may be ?relatively? poor, but not ?absolutely? poor (because they are property owners).1 Criterion (e) also implies that their community is ?formalized,? which typically takes 10 years or more from when it was first established as a quartier spontane. Under criterion (f), households that want a social connection must wait until the street main has been extended to their house, but if a water main is farther away than 20 meters, they can pay for its extension plus the full cost of an ordinary connection. It follows that houses that pay for an ordinary connection are ?not poor,? but it does not necessarily follow that those who wait for a social connection cannot afford to pay for it.


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