Access to clean water and sanitation is central to health and well-being, particularly for the poor. However, capital investment in water in the Global South has been undermined by the failure to finance operations and maintenance because (poor) households often cannot, or are unwilling to, pay. The successful operation of over 400 community-managed rural water projects covering over 100,000 households in northern Pakistan by the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has led to the introduction of community-managed urban water schemes. This research examines two AKAH urban water schemes in Gilgit, Pakistan, to assess the viability of this community-managed model and if it can be scaled up and transferred to other urban settings. It brings together researchers in economics, anthropology and engineering, together with development practitioners and other experts, to identify how economic, social, cultural and technical factors affect the sustainability and impact of community-managed water systems.
Research Team: Dr Jeff Tan, Aga Khan University; Professor Stephen Lyon, Aga Khan University; Professor Attaullah Shah, Karakoram International University