The Model

Draft projects

Articles published


Annexed material


 About Bakens Verzet




T.E.(Terry) Manning,

Schoener 50,

1771 ED Wieringerwerf,

The Netherlands.

Tel: 0031-227-604128

Homepage: http://www.flowman.nl

E-mail: (nameatendofline)@xs4all.nl : bakensverzet



Incorporating innovative social, financial, economic, local administrative and productive structures, numerous renewable energy applications, with an important role for women in poverty alleviation in rural and poor urban environments.



"Money is not the key that opens the gates of the market but the bolt that bars them"


Gesell, Silvio The Natural Economic Order

Revised English edition, Peter Owen, London 1958, page 228



Edition 11: 15 August 2006



An innovative Model Integrated Self-financing Development Project covering a complete package of basic services for sustainable development in poor rural and urban areas has been developed. It includes hygiene education, the provision of drinking water and sanitation services, rainwater harvesting, PV lighting for study, PV lighting and refrigeration in clinics, waste removal, high-efficiency stoves and bio-mass to fuel them. It provides a strong thrust for on-going local development, productivity, and employment. It contains many decentralised solar energy applications.

The Model has been placed in the public domain.

The Model is strongly demand response oriented. Project applications are worked out together with the users who execute, run, maintain, own and pay for the project structures. The Model provides practical working solutions for sustainable integrated development and covers all major development priorities. It constitutes a practical way of applying modern development concepts such as those outlined in the DFID "Guidance manual on water supply and sanitations programmes" (WEDC for DFID, 1998). It integrates in a practical and feasible manner policy, finance, technology and human capacity building to offer sustainable solutions to development.

Project applications are self-financing, subject to an interest-free seed loan repayable in 10 years. The Model is structured for communities of 10000 households (50000 users) but can be adapted to smaller and larger project areas as required. The minimum amount of the interest-free seed loans is US$ 3.000.000 or US$ 60 per user, which covers the entire basic package of structures and services, and calls for a monthly payment of US$3 per family of 5 into a Cooperative Development Fund. The Model is structured so that some, if not all, of these monthly payments can be recovered by savings on expenditure for (inadequate) structures and services such as firewood, water, and waste removal now available to users.

Project applications require 75% financing in the form of a 10 year interest-free loan by an External Support Agency. Regional or state authorities in the beneficiary countries are expected to supply the remaining 25%.

Project applications are self-financing because they allow the recipient communities to fully exploit a network of sustainable development activities using:
(i) The interest-free loan itself
(ii) Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS)
(iii)Multiple re-cycled interest-free micro-credits to be administered by a local micro-credit institution. They are generated by recycling seed loan repayments and project reserves during the loan term, and by recycling repayments of the micro-credit loans themselves.


One of the most important causes of poverty is on-going financial leakage from poor rural and urban areas and nations to richer national and international havens and nations. If poverty alleviation projects are to succeed, financial leakage from individual project areas has to be reduced and preferably stopped altogether. This does not imply closure of project areas to the outside world. It implies that the balance expressed in formal currency of transactions for goods and services imported into and exported from individual project areas must tend to zero.

Some important factors causing financial leakage are energy imports, import of industrial goods and services, and interest. The cumulative interest content of a typical western industrial product is thought to be anything up to 40% of the cost to the end user. This interest normally exits from project areas never to return.

Technologies using local energy such as human energy, local biomass, PV and wind energy, and locally recycled wastes together with appropriate financial instruments help create and encourage open competition and free enterprise within the framework of a cooperative and non profit-making global financial structure. As the Model shows, self-financing integrated development is then able to flourish.

This is particularly important in project applications covering drinking water supply, where solar PV may be needed to pump the water over several kilometres from the water source to dedicated tanks near users' homes. In integrated projects, the initial capital costs for the water supply can be at least in part covered by savings in the present expenditure of the families. For instance, the use of locally made high efficiency stoves and mini-briquettes to fuel them can lead to a substantial saving on a family's present outgo on wood for cooking. This saving alone is sometimes enough to cover part or all of the family's monthly contribution into the Cooperative Development Fund.

Another example is the use of locally made dry composting toilets in place of water toilets. Where water costs are high, and/or where the water toilets consume a large part of a family's (often expensive) water supply, the savings in water costs can go to paying (part of) its monthly contribution into the Cooperative Development Fund. Water saved can be used for other purposes, including small vegetable plots and/or vertical gardens.


The Model foresees the following services :
a) Drinking water supply
b) Rainwater harvesting for private use
c) Rainwater drainage for micro-irrigation
d) The use of dry composting toilet systems to limit use of water at household level

Each of these is now briefly described.


Project applications will decentralise drinking water supply. Large diameter wells and bore holes will be dug or drilled using wherever possible local labour, construction methods and materials supplied under the local LETS money systems.

About 6-9 high pressure solar submersible pumps will be installed in each well or borehole. Each of the pumps will supply water to a dedicated water tank serving a local community of up to 40 families (200 people). The well is the hub of the supply system. The water pipelines radiating from it are its spokes. The water tanks should not be more than 150 meters away from the users' houses. The distance between the water source and the dedicated water tanks can be several kilometres.

Adoption of the multiple pump solution means that fewer wells/boreholes need to be dug or drilled than would otherwise be the case. Savings on well and borehole costs may sometimes alone be enough to compensate for the costs of the solar pumping systems.

Schools will each receive at least one dedicated tank. Clinics, for further safety, will be served by two tanks each with its own pump.

Wherever practicable, that is, where head is not greater than about 45 meters, each well or borehole will be equipped with locally made triple back-up hand-pumps to provide water during unusually long periods of bad weather, when the water tanks are empty

Fig. 1


Where culturally appropriate, a communal washing area can be placed near each well so that women used to doing their washing in groups can continue to do so. The backup hand-pumps may also be used to service the washing areas and in cases of emergency.

The drinking water supply is based on a water consumption of 25 litres per person per day. Since solar energy will normally be used to pump the water, bad weather must be taken into account. For that reason, the tanks need to have a capacity for three days' use. Each tank will supply about 200 people.


The preferred water tanks are spherical in form with a volume of 1.5m3. They are made in the project area itself from Gypsum composites (R) segments in low-cost labour-intensive local production units with 100% local value added. Gypsum composites (R) is a state of the art technology based on cheap gypsum (CaSO4 + H2O) or anhydrite (CaSO4 + = H2O) which is usually available in or near any given project area. The tanks can be built to "western" hygiene standards.

Tank supports and many other items necessary for self-financing projects can also be made from Gypsum composites (R).

Any product made within project areas using locally available raw materials can be built, constructed, and installed under the LETS local exchange trading systems set up under each project application under the Model, and practically no formal currency at all is required for the tank installations.

More information on Gypsum Composites.

The technology is available to local production units free of charge for bona fide poverty alleviation purposes under project applications under the Model.

Fig 2



The basic structures foreseen under the Model are the Tank Commissions. These are made up from 3-5 representatives chosen by the 40 families (200 users) served by a given tank. It is expected that most of the members of the tank committee, including the chairperson, will be women. One of the purposes of the Health Clubs set up under project applications is to create a platform which women can use to organise themselves, make their voices heard, and participate actively in project execution.

The duties of the Tank Commissions are numerous. They can be analysed by referring to in fig.3

Fig. 3


Amongst these duties is control of access to the tank, control of the amount of water used, maintaining the area around the tank, and liaising with the Project Coordinator and the well commission, and election of one of their members to the local Well Commission. Ownership of the tank installation, the dedicated solar pump, and the dedicated solar array and support system is vested in the tank commission once the users have paid back their interest-free ten year seed loan.

Apart from reimbursement under the LETS systems for services rendered, the tank commissions receive a small monthly fee in formal currency for their work. They are able to dispose of these formal currency funds as they wish. It is expected that the funds will usually be made available to partly subsidise poorer families with temporary difficulties in making their monthly payments into the Cooperative Development Fund. In this sense, the tank commission forms a first safety net in favour of users in financial difficulties. A second safety net is available to users through the local LETS systems themselves. Users more permanently in difficulty with their monthly payments can arrange for the community to make the monthly contributions in exchange for goods and services supplied to the community under the LETS systems.

The second structure foreseen for drinking water supply is the well commission.

The duties of the well commissions are set out in fig. 4.

Fig. 4



The 25 litres of drinking water per person per day available to users may be supplemented by channelling rainwater from the roofs of users' houses into locally built Gypsum composites (R) water tanks. The size of the tanks will be determined for each project application according to roof catchment area and the nature of the rainfall in the area.

This water is not to be used for drinking purposes except in emergencies (e.g. the drinking water tanks are empty, there are no hand-pump backups at the well, natural calamity ) when it will have to be boiled. It is available for washing and general household use. Household wastewater from kitchen and washroom will run by gravity through a simple filter to remove fats and oils into a Gypsum composites wastewater tank. The contents of the wastewater tank can be mixed with urine in a urine tank (see the paragraph on dry composting toilets below) in the proportion ten parts wastewater to one part urine and spread in the vegetable garden plot if there is one, or on vertical (usually roof) gardens. Users with neither a garden plot nor a vertical garden will arrange for their wastewater and their urine to be collected under the local LETS systems. For a diagram showing the entire waste collection systems foreseen under the Model, refer to:

Fig. 5


The Model foresees the use of dry composting toilets with separation of urine and faeces, so water from the rainwater tanks is used in the toilets for washing only. Water for anal washing and for cleaning the toilet itself will run into the dry composting toilet tank. Water for cleaning the men's/boys' urinal and the urine section of the toilet will run into the urine tank.

The water from the rainwater tank is also used for some kitchen purposes.

Simple filter systems may be fitted to tank inlets and/or to pipe outlets. These are intended to remove larger solids in suspension only, not as substitutes for purification. Should, in a situation of crisis, where drinking water is available neither from the collective solar drinking water pumping installation nor from the back-up hand-pump installations foreseen, water from the tanks have to be used for drinking and personal purposes it will need to be boiled.

The design of the tanks, and their production, installation and maintenance will be carried out under the local LETS systems, so that no formal currency at all is needed for them.


Large-scale works for water storage such as dams in water courses are not foreseen under the Model. Surface storage of water is in principle discouraged as it may constitute a health hazard.

Small scale collection of run-off water into closed Gypsum composites tanks for micro-irrigation is, however, strongly encouraged. Rainwater drainage systems will be designed by local engineers and technicians for local LETS currency. The purposes of these micro-systems is:

a) To improve drainage from town and village centres
b) To make small amounts of water available to farmers for micro-irrigation purposes

The technicians will calculate rainwater capacity literally on a street by street or block by block basis. They will build small gravity run-off systems towards one side of each street to channel overflow water from users' houses and run-off from around the houses and from off the streets using locally made Gypsum composites grates and collector pipes. The water will be channelled by gravity to a network of Gypsum composites water tanks on the farmers' properties. Overflow from tanks higher up and water run from the land will in turn be captured by tanks lower down.

The water stored in the tanks will be used sparingly according to the collective experience and wisdom of the farmers. It is not intended to substitute traditional irrigation. It is intended for emergency use as drip irrigation in times of drought and/or to extend the use of the land by the few weeks necessary to make the growth of a second crop possible.

Where small scale collection of water is impracticable, the run off water will be fed into the nearest water course, from where it can be run off to feed micro-systems as already described further down the valley.

Since dry composting toilet systems are to be installed, the runoff water will be free from sewage. It should usually be relatively clean and no further filtering is foreseen.


There are many reasons why dry composting toilets are to be preferred to water flushed toilets. Two useful references are :

Winblad Uno et al, "Ecological Sanitation", SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), Stockholm, 1998. ISBN 91 586 76 12 0.

Del Porto D and Steinfeld C, "The composting toilet system book", CEPP (Centre for Ecological Pollution Prevention), Massachusetts, 1999 ISBN 0-9666783-0-3

In water scarce areas, water toilets may be considered inappropriate technology. Sometimes they account for a large part of the water consumption in a household. The scarcer the water the more expensive it tends to become. Eventual savings in water costs can help pay a family's monthly contribution under the project application. Alternatively, water saved by not using water toilets is made available at household level for other purposes, such as vegetable plots or vertical gardens.

Dry composting toilet systems based on above-ground Gypsum composites tanks ensure complete separation of urine and faeces from surface and other waters. Surface and run-off waters do not become faecally contaminated and can be disposed of by gravity drainage without the need for special treatment, the cost of which can therefore be diverted to other, more productive, purposes. Run-off waters can be directly channelled for use in agriculture and cost savings applied to other investments.

Fig. 6



An appropriate allowance is made in the budget to permanently cover ongoing maintenance costs. Trained maintenance personnel will have a full time job under the local LETS money systems. They will carry out inspections on each installation on a quarterly preventive maintenance visits basis. A fund expressed in formal money to cover the cost of spare parts is subtracted from users' monthly payments into the Cooperative Development Fund and set aside in a Maintenance Fund. Should the Maintenance Fund build up to considerable proportions, this money may, at the careful discretion of the project coordinator, also be recycled for short term interest-free micro-credits.

Monthly payments by users into the Cooperative Development Fund continue indefinitely. After the repayment of the interest-free seed loan after ten years, users continue to make their monthly contributions into the fund, so that at the end of the second period of ten years, capital is available to replace the original capital goods or extend the services available, and so on in the following ten year periods to ensure the system remains permanently sustainable.

The Model foresees the supply of equipment for water quality testing to one of the clinics in the project area. Water samples will be collected under the LETS systems from each water tank every three months and water quality checked in the clinic.

Regular inspection of household water supplies and sanitation systems under the LETS systems will be conducted, where possible together with personnel from the Health Department.

One of the first structures created (at tank commission level) under the Model are the Health Clubs. The Health Clubs offer a complete hygiene education course and their members are expected to be mostly women. The Clubs are also intended to help create a platform for women to group together, express their wishes, participate in meetings and play a leading role in the planning and running of the projects.

The work of the Health Clubs will be supported by on-going health courses in the schools.


The following documents drawings and graphs form an integral part of this paper:


Anhydrite, use of; Banks, role of in development; Gypsum composites products; Bio-mass, for cooking; Briquettes, bio-mass; Chain control, integral; CO2 emissions, reduction of; Compost, recycling; Composting toilets; Cookers, high efficiency; Cooperation, role in development; Development projects, structures for; Development, sustainable; Drinking water supply; Economy, developing countries; Economy, development projects; Economy, foreign aid; Economy, industrial development; Economy, interest-free development; Economy, Local Exchange Trading (LETS) systems; Economy, nominal local currencies, development of; Economy, micro credits; Economy, self-financed development; Economy, taxation and development; Education, hygiene; Gender, role of women; Gypsum, cheap; Hand pumps; Health Clubs, development projects; Hygiene, education; Industrial development; integral chain control; Integrated development projects; Interest, role of; LETS systems; Loans, interest-free; Local currency systems; Local Exchange Trading (LETS) systems; Materials, regeneration of; Micro-credit systems; Photovoltaic (PV) home systems; Photovoltaic (PV) lighting; Photovoltaic (PV) pumps; Photovoltaic (PV) refrigeration; Poverty alleviation; Pumps, solar; Pumps, hand ; Rainwater, harvesting; Recycling, compost; Recycling centres; Recycling, waste; Regeneration of materials; Rural water supply; Sanitation, developing countries; Sanitation, dry; Self-financing development projects; Solar pumps, submersible; Stoves, high efficiency; Sustainable development; Tanks, Gypsum composites, local manufacture; Toilet facilities, Gypsum composites; Toilets, dry; Urine disposal; Washing places; Waste collection systems; Water purification, UV; Water supply projects; Water supply, rural; Water tanks, gypsum composites, Women, role of in development.


List of articles on subjects related to the Model.