A Troubled Project--Rural Water Systems and Environmental Sanitation in Peru

ID-83-42: Published: Jun 2, 1983. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1983.

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Certain issues relating to a rural water systems and environmental sanitation project in Peru were brought to the attention of the Agency for International Development (AID) because remedial action could be taken.

GAO has found that, although the project intended to construct 100 water supply systems in four regions by the end of 1982, only 30 water supply systems were installed or under construction in three regions by February 1983. The slow progress stems from difficulties in breaking down the system design and management responsibilities to the local level, personnel shortages and losses, and policy differences. Problems such as the slow procurement and delivery of commodities and equipment and the lack of planned technical assistance have also impeded progress. In addition, GAO found that plans for health education, operation and maintenance training, and special studies to improve the effectiveness of the project had not been fully implemented. Site visits confirmed that there is a lack of coordination in providing water supply, sanitation facilities, and effective public health services. Despite the slow progress, another $5.5 million was committed to the project in 1982. Now, conflicting cost estimates and inflation raise doubts about the total number of water supply systems which can be financed by the project. GAO believes that the causes of the slow progress were not adequately addressed at the time the additional funds were authorized for the project.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In November 1983, the AID Pipeline Review Committee determined that sufficient progress had been made since the GAO report to justify continuing the project at the authorized level of funding.

    Recommendation: The AID Administrator should direct the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean's Pipeline Review Committee to closely monitor this project. If significant progress is not achieved by the end of 1983, the $5.5 million authorized by the amendment should be immediately deobligated and the project reduced to a scope which can be effectively managed by Peru. The accelerated implementation plan for 1983 should be the criterion to measure the progress of all components of the project.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development


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