Village Savings & Loans Associations VSLAs
A Lack of funds to cover inevitable maintenance is a significant barrier to sustainability for well projects. A $20 or $40 part could be the difference between flowing water and a broken well if the stakeholders do not have that much money. Putting the responsibility of suppling that part and carrying out any repairs on the boreholes is neither responsible, empowering or sustainable. They key for project longevity always has to be empowering the stakeholders to be able to manage and fund repairs themselves without outside influence or assistance. If we have already taken care of training community members to become pump mechanics and we have informed them on where they should obtain replacement parts, the next step is to make sure they always have the money to fund repairs. This is where the VSLA comes into play.
VSLAs are a structured system of lending and borrowing money that provide the funds needed to cover preventative maintenance, pump mechanics, spare parts, etc. VSLAs also lend money for community members to start up to small businesses, stimulating the local economy and empowering community members to be financially secure and to thrive.