We build for sustainability.
Right from the start, Human Needs Project knew it had to be different from other water projects-- it had to focus on sustatinability. Unfortunately, an estimated 35-50% of water projects fail within their first five years. Many other water projects have been built without the means for repairs and maintenance, both financially and technically. Providing only water for instance, or sanitation, often becomes a short-term solution. In many instances, technical problems will arise: the water pump will develop mechanical problems, or the water will be of bad quality; the toilets will be too dirty, no one will maintain them, or they will do it badly. And soon these services are abandoned and forgotten. No one seems to own these utilities once the aid groups are gone, and no one seems able to fix them once the community has been left with them.
The Human Needs Project knows it can be done better, so it designed the Town Center with environmental, financial and technical sustainability.
Environmental sustainability – The Town Center uses clean technology to reduce its impact on the environment. A unique self-contained wastewater program treats the water onsite so the greywater can be used. Most of the energy is provided by solar. HNP aims to continue to use innovative technologies to provide its infrastructure services.
Financial self sustainability – Since slum residents are already paying high prices for bad services, HNP believes they will pay a fair price for good services. For a monthly fee, they can become subscribers and actually own the Town Center as part of co-op. These paying subscribers access centralized services of water and sanitation, and in turn provide recurring, reliable revenue for the center. Management and owners have been trained in business planning and management to ensure financial success. Financial self sustainability will ensure the viability of the Town Center for many years.
Technical sustainability –The Town Center was built with the highest standard of construction. It is built to withstand a Level 7 earthquake, and the Elephant Armor concrete used to line the water tanks is state-of-the art, with a lifetime guarantee.
Moreover, the Town Center management technicians have been trained to deal with the myriad technical and management-related problems that may occur at the Center. As a further level of guarantee, HNP will continue to provide technical and operational advice for at least five years after the center is fully functioning.