Cost Effective Drilling
It has been estimated that about 35,000 boreholes per year need to be drilled in sub-Saharan Africa to meet the MDGs for domestic water supply. If one considers full coverage by 2050, and water for irrigation as well as industrial supply, at least 50,000 boreholes per year are required. Government, private sector organizations, NGOs and donors have all raised concerns about the high costs, variable construction quality and the inadequate volume of boreholes drilled in sub-Saharan Africa.
The cost effective boreholes (CEB) flagship of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) was set up to identify ways to improve the "health" of borehole drilling in sub-Saharan Africa so that water users are able to use high-quality boreholes and the sector is profitable as well as efficient.
Cost savings of 10% on conventional drilling would have a significant impact on extending access to improved water supplies. It has been estimated that use of manual drilling where feasible could provide even more savings. However, it is essential that cost-savings do not adversely jeopardise quality. Borehole drilling can only attract more private investment if it is a viable business venture.
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