Analysis: Sanitizing the truth - when WASH fails
The success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals' (MDGs) water target and massive growth in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes have masked a little-discussed secret: WASH interventions frequently fail.
Rather than focusing on what is almost literally pouring money down the drain, donor reports and NGO websites prefer instead to boast of the numbers of water pumps drilled or toilets installed.
"You don't take photos at a funeral," said Dutch water expert George De Gooijer, who is based at the Netherlands' embassy in Benin. "The lack of a link between results on the ground and the proposals is the one that needs to be solved."
In 2012, anauditby the European Union (EU) sought to make that link between its officially completed WASH projects in sub-Saharan Africa and the reality on the ground - but found that more than half of the drinking water schemes surveyed had failed to deliver.
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