Attention to sustainability

Sustainability is no hollow word to Protos. A specific approach is necessary to guarantee long-term sustainability.

A technician at work in the Andromba valley (Madagascar) © Protos

Right from the start of a project, we ensure the local community’s involvement, usually through elected user committees. They supervise the works and mobilise the population to contribute to the project, usually in-kind, by helping for instance with the digging of trenches for a water conduit.

As a rule however, these committees are not equipped and qualified to ensure proper daily management and maintenance. Often they fail to solve the more exceptional or complex problems. It is also practically impossible for each committee to purchase and store the necessary replacement parts for repairs. Finally, these individual user committees usually find themselves in a weak position to negotiate with governmental instances, financial institutions or large private enterprises.

Protos therefore pays particular attention to providing structure to the committees and creating service providers, often including small private companies. We help municipalities in creating mixed inter-municipal cooperatives involving local governments and management committees of several drinking water systems. We also stimulate the establishing of so-called second-line structures, i.e. umbrella organisations concerned with the common interests of the committees: advice and support, mediation in conflicts, sales point for replacement parts… Private enterprise can be involved at this level.

This approach offers considerably more guarantees that established systems will continue to function and provide adequate quality.

Studies and reports: