Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP), a Nigerian NGO, is currently promoting the Mor-sand filter in the restive oil rich Niger Delta region. The Mor-sand Filter, an improved adaptation of the slow-sand filter, integrates the combination of coagulation and filtration as effective processes significant in the reduction of the concentration of microorganisms in water. It markedly differs from the ordinary slow-sand filter by its adoption of a Moringa oleifera seed paste layer. This layer offers coagulation, a traditional first unit process in conventional water treatment that is crucial for the removal of impurities in water.
The project aimed to assist households in oil producing communities to maximize the quality of their drinking water supply and free them from the burdens of ill-health caused by human and industrial pollution. In producing these filters, RAWDP also trained independent entrepreneurs on how to make them, thus assisting them to earn livelihood and widen distribution within record time.
As a means of monitoring progress toward the goals and objectives set in the project ‘’Mor-Sand Filters for oil producing communities’’ (Project 0336), as funded by the 2006 World Bank Development Market Place; Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP) in collaboration with a multi-stakeholder group that comprised of traditional institutions, government line ministries, Community Based Organisations and community volunteers etc. developed a core set of indicators for effective Monitoring and Evaluation. A series of monitoring exercises preceded the evaluation using objectively verifiable indicators and tools.
The objectives of the Monitoring and Evaluation of ‘Project 0336’ included the need to measure progress against objectives and performance standards, and to enable accountability to donors, partners and people affected by the project. This was carried out to ensure that the overall objectives of the project which were to assist households in oil producing communities to maximize the quality of their drinking water supply and free them from the burdens of ill-health caused by human and industrial pollution.
It is good to note that many water, sanitation and infrastructure projects fail to provide the benefits originally envisaged. The success of projects depends on a number of factors, for example demand, affordability, sustained functioning and maintenance, management and user behaviour (hygiene and use). In addition are the factors of planning, monitoring and evaluation. It was in realization of all these that project monitoring and evaluation was mainstreamed in the “Mor-sand filter for oil producing communities’’ as an imperative strategy to check and control error and optimize the benefits of the project as reported.
Monitoring is relevant not only to progress in the field but also to managerial, administrative and financial processes within the organisation as the project implementer. It was achieved by establishing a monitoring system that both collects relevant information on progress and communicates it to relevant parties. Evaluation enables RAWDP to compare actual project outcomes with those intended, and from this draws lessons to guide future projects or subsequent phases of the same project. Evaluation in RAWDP was used to guide strategy; measure performance; correct errors; and verify cost benefit analysis.