WASHCost has caught the imagination of young engineers, says UNICEF
Updated - Wednesday 05 September 2012
The UNICEF Water and Environmental Sanitation Officer in Andhra Pradesh says that WASHCost has caught the imagination of many young water engineers– but warns that a critical period lies ahead to secure long term changes within the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department.
Mr SR Nalli is a member of the WASHCost advisory committee as well as leading the UNICEF work on water and sanitation in the State, and he is in no doubt that WASHCost has had a positive impact on the way engineers look at water and sanitation services, and their understanding of budgeting needs.
“The WASHCost research project is an eye-opener for the engineering department and it is helping them to look at it from a different perspective”.
“Because of this project we actually know what components they need to consider while planning and what aspects they need to consider while implementing and what they need to do after the project is commissioned, and it is giving a fresh perspective and new thought interms of budget allocations at these levels. The research project provided an insight on different cost components of WASH projects such as capital costs- hardware; capital costs –software; costs of operation & maintenance; costs of capital replacement and renewal; costs of source sustainability; direct support costs and indirect support costs.
“Definitely the new brand of engineers is catching up very fast on these concepts and we hope that this will be integrated into their existing plans and the implementation strategies of the department.”
However, Mr Nalli warned that this would be the most testing time for the project to ensure that the impetus generated is not lost. For me, two or three years was spent on research, and this is definitely the most crucial time where these findings to be incorporated into the departmental plans. These need to find a place on their drawing boardsand find a place in their existing strategies.
MV Rama Chandrudu, Peter McIntyre and Veeru Kuna
5 May 2012