Water safety planning for small water supply systems: the framework and control measures
A water safety plan (WSP) is a preventive comprehensive risk assessment and management approach to ensuring the safety of a drinking water supply from source to tap for public health protection. The concept was introduced in the last decade in international guidance documents and has been applied widely across a varied range of water supply systems, particularly, the public water utilities and to a lesser extent towards small systems. Mainstreaming water safety intervention for small systems however, would ensure safe household water to a wider population, alleviate poverty and hunger through water for use in support of livelihood activities, and help towards achieving the sustainable development goals. Self-supply hand-dug wells in Abeokuta, Nigeria, were assessed using the step-by-step World Health Organization WSP model, mainly from the relevant system assessment to operational monitoring and management procedures. This paper reviewed the methodology of water safety planning and flagged the issue of ‘who’ conducts WSP for small systems. The paper also evaluated major control measures critical to self-supply and suggested an apt WS planning model for the systems. The WSP framework for self-supply systems incorporated an institutional aspect for WSP coordination.