· The identification of appropriate water sources, the construction of the necessary structures to tap, treat, store, and distribute drinking water to the refugees and the activities related to the operation and maintenance of these facilities are only a small component of the assistance activities to be undertaken for emergency programmes. In view of their particular requirements, however, water sector activities require specific planning and implementing arrangements to attain the ultimate objective of providing enough safe water to the refugees and to their communal facilities in the most cost-effective way.
· Water projects, as many other refugee assistance efforts, require specific actions to achieve their objectives. These actions should follow a previously defined order of actions to ensure the timely and effective coverage of refugee needs.
· These specific activities should be developed within the overall emergency programme and its cycle. Efforts should be made to identify the correct working paths to follow and their timing, in such a way that full and up-to-date information is always available for programming purposes.
1. Emergency programmes should cover total needs of refugee camps form the start of the emergency. These programmes are designed on the basis of the assessment of total emergency assistance needs. As may be the case for other assistance sectors, it is very seldom that the basic data necessary for water supply project design and implementation, is available during the needs assessment exercise. Conceptual designs of the necessary structures and systems will have to be used for the initial planning of emergency response.
2. Conceptual designs will be useful for programme formulation, a basic step in ensuring a consistent approach towards meeting all refugee needs, including adequate funding, appropriate implementation arrangements and a clear time frame for emergency operations. Conceptual designs should be based on avail- able technical data and should be flexible enough to allow for their adjustment to the physical realities of the project site, to the socio-cultural background of the beneficiary refugee population and to the institutional framework of the programme itself (including arrangements for possible longer term assistance to refugees, beyond the emergency programme's time frame) in accordance with the results of further investigations and surveys (See 12.8).
3. Any refugee water supply system is a combination of structures and other facilities to produce (collect, treat, store) and distribute potable water to a group of people living in camps (See 10.17). Its design should be based on a thorough knowledge of the available water resources and other relevant environmental conditions of the site; its construction and technological approach should ensure the compatibility of each system component with the others; both the type of service delivered and its operation and maintenance requirements should be appropriate to the socio-cultural background of the beneficiaries and to the operational characteristics of assistance activities in the camp. Several basic studies and surveys may be necessary for planning and final design purposes; the selection of adequate equipment should be carefully done after considering its technological characteristics, procurement possibilities, constraints (including those of spare parts) and operation and maintenance requirements.
4. Short-term emergency measures will almost invariably be necessary to meet water needs of a refugee community while efforts are made to obtain the necessary data on the available water resources and the means to develop them into an efficient and cost-effective water supply system (See 4.1; 5.1; 6.4; 8.1; 8.3; 8.10; 9.17; 11.2). There are flexible funding mechanisms to cover these initial requirements at the onset of emergency operations; they are made available through the Emergency Letter of Instruction (ELOI), which, while not intended to cover the whole emergency operation, should permit a rapid response to immediate needs.
5. Once the most basic water needs of the refugee community have been met, and as a result of the needs assessment exercise, a plan of action will be needed to develop, in the minimum time possible, a water system capable of covering all camp needs on a longer term basis. This plan will include the description (terms of reference) of all investigations, studies or surveys necessary to obtain basic data for the design of the future system, construction and operation of the future system (See 4.1; 5.1). It will also include a complete description of any other action, already foreseen as necessary, which could be performed before the final design of the system is available (development of sources, borehole drilling, access roads, organization of refugee involvement, etc.). This plan of action should give a clear idea of the correct timing for each activity (and the plan's "critical path") as well as an estimate, as accurate as possible, of the required technical and financial inputs. This plan of action will be instrumental in formulating the water sector of the emergency programme, the instrument which should ensure the full coverage of sector needs from the start of the emergency.
6. The correct formats and procedures to be adopted for project submission are clearly explained in other handbooks. A technical project description containing the objectives and actions to be undertaken to achieve them should be part of this documentation. While some of these actions could be carried out as a part of the same project, others, in view of their complexity or requirements, should be carried out independently. This is the case for some topographical surveys, highly specialized hydrogeological studies, borehole drilling programmes, etc. The implementation of these projects (or sub-projects) should respect, as much as possible, the time schedules proposed in the plan of action (See 12.5).
7. A correct technical project description is an important tool for both, UNHCR and the executing agency (implementing partner) (See 1.7; 5.1-iii). It should provide, in clear and concise terms, enough information to justify the need for the project, to assess its cost-effectiveness, to be the basis for the preparation of budgets, implementation and monitoring plans and to facilitate the fund raising exercise. An executive summary, covering all important aspects of the project should be presented first, for the convenience of interested individuals, particularly decision-makers who may not read the entire document. Location maps and other simple information should also be included in this summary, to enable clear presentation and quick understanding of all project characteristics. Project descriptions should also include a list of project objectives, a mention of all preparatory work required, and a detailed list of constraints, recommendations and actions to be taken; their main body should contain:
i) Introduction:- Reasons for project proposal and its objectives;
- Background information on the water supply and sanitation sectors, including present water conditions; situation of existing infrastructures; socio-economic and cultural background of the beneficiary refugee population; self-help activities; and, if relevant, long-term development plans for the project site;
- Location map, showing project site and overall layout of the proposed system (water source, water lifting methods, conduction pipelines, treatment facilities, distribution system, waste water disposal, etc.).
ii) Institutional background:- Description of all governmental and non-governmental institutions or organizations having an impact on water supply, sanitation or public health in the camp or its vicinity, giving special emphasis to the proposed implementing partner. Information should be provided on their purpose and goals, operational responsibilities, managerial capability, staffing, location of headquarters and their regional and local facilities;
- Sector policies, including targets for service and standards, financial arrangements, institutional development, refugee community participation, administrative and technical support;
- Beneficiaries. Description of social, cultural and economic background of the beneficiaries (refugees and host communities, if applicable), criteria for selection of target groups, water demand estimates (including livestock, gardening or other purposes);
- Public Health aspects. Presence of water borne diseases and other existing health conditions, curative and preventive health practices, health education and hygiene training programmes, institutional arrangements, etc.;
- Water resources. Overview of available surface and groundwater resources; available geological, meteorological and hydrological data; its reliability and results of analyses in terms of water balances and budgets, present and future water demand and patterns (in space and time); water quality and pollution problems;
- Existing water supply services (if any), type of service, coverage, standards, reliability, water quality, user charges, operating and maintenance status;
- Need for the project. This section should explain why existing water supply arrangements (if any) cannot cope with present or projected water demands, and the consequences the lack of better services will have on present and future refugee population. It should also give an outline of priorities and comments on the urgency of project implementation.
iii) The project:- Technical description. Definition of the project and outline of its components, including maps, photos, drawings, sketches and bills of quantities, as appropriate. Description of additional project preparation work requirements (studies or surveys; further design work; related projects, such as opening of access roads, borehole drilling, etc.); necessary support activities, such as logistics, training of local operators, health education;
- Implementation arrangements. Identification of all institutions and voluntary organizations involved in project implementation, including the need for consultants or contractors (if applicable); description of their functions and responsibilities, coordination and monitoring mechanisms, needs for assistance or support (staff, training, financial, etc.); implementation schedule, complete with chronogram depicting the tasks of each group involved, critical paths and necessary administrative steps (provision of budget, preparation of tender documents, obtention of land and water rights, etc.);
- Operation and maintenance arrangements. Description of future arrangements for operation and maintenance of the water system facilities, including self-help (refugee participation) activities, technical assistance required, annual costs and any other requirement;
- Environmental impact. Description, in brief terms, of the various environmental impacts to be expected as a result of the project, including public health, sanitation and water resources themselves;
- Cost estimates: A summary of estimated project costs, taking into account a realistic provision for unexpected costs for each budget item. These costs are to be estimated on the proposed bills of quantities and on unit prices for each element; a breakdown of costs into foreign exchange and local currency components would always be desirable; a full explanation on how costs were estimated and a list of basic assumptions (particularly those for unit prices, contingencies, price increases, etc.) should be included. A breakdown of "in kind" and "in cash" costs should also be desirable;
- Financial plan. A final budget summary, in accordance with the FMIS formats (See 12.21) will be presented in this section and, if relevant, all possible sources of funding should be identified, both for project implementation and for the long-term operation and maintenance of the system to be constructed. A discussion on arrangements for future accounting and reporting should also be included.
iv) Technical annexes:- Map of the camp/village/settlement, including all project related buildings and installations (existing or to be constructed);
- Assessment of water source productivity (pumping test analysis, flow measurements, hydrographs, etc.);
- Chemical and bacteriological assessment of water quality;
- Planimetric details and hydraulic profile of conduction and distribution lines;
- Technical details, specifications and plans ("blue prints") of all structures, system components and their interconnections;
- Terms of reference and technical specifications for additional technical inputs.
8. In many cases, additional project preparation work will be required to study alternative sources (geophysical prospection or hydrogeological surveys, water quality analyses), to obtain basic data still required for the final design of the system (topographical surveys, assessment of source potential and safe yields) and to make the necessary adjustments to conceptual designs, in accordance with the results thus obtained (See 8.15-16). The nature of most of these actions allows for them to be carried out independently and requires rather specialized technical inputs. They could, therefore, be regarded as "sub-projects" and as such should be planned and implemented in accordance with normal project implementation rules and practices. In some of these cases, the project description may take the form of "terms of reference" if the project is to be undertaken on a consultancy basis; in other cases, especially when construction or other types of physical work have to be undertaken in the field under contractual arrangements, the project description should take the form of "technical specifications".
9. Terms of reference for a consultancy work should ideally include as much background and technical information on the project as possible (See 12.7) to provide a clear idea to potential consultants; a detailed description of objectives, project requirements and arrangements for the consultant to carry out his work as well as suggested (or required) methodologies should also be included; details on reporting and other project output requirements (blue prints, bills of quantities, budgets, tender documents, etc.) and a mention of the required technical expertise and experience will complete these terms of reference. Consultancy work may be carried out by individual specialized technicians or by consultancy companies offering a wide variety of technical expertise. The use of local expertise in this type of work should be encouraged (See 2.7).
10. The technical specifications given to a contractor for any work should be detailed enough to describe exactly the works required and the characteristics of resulting structures or other types of facilities (See 6.57). This is especially important because it is the only way to ensure the compatibility of the facilities thus built with the rest of the system. These specifications should refer to design documents (blue prints, sketches, etc.), bills of quantities and overall responsibilities for the contractor to carry out his work. Supervision and control mechanisms (including the description of tests or other verification work) as well as work acceptance or rejection procedures should also be contained in the technical specifications to allow the client (UNHCR or the implementing partner) to ensure the contractor's full compliance with contractual terms and, therefore, the quality of his work. Annex D1 gives an example of this type of document.
11. Once all necessary basic data and other project requirements have been obtained, the final design of the system may be undertaken (See 2.3; 10.16-17). Appropriate sketches and blue prints of every single component of the system should then be prepared in final form; accurate bills of quantities (a list of all materials, labour and other inputs required for the completion of the system or any of its parts) should be drawn up and final budget estimates calculated.
12. The nature of the work required to build and commission a water supply system is such that very often this work may only be undertaken by contractors having specialized knowledge and equipment. Financial rules require that, in this case, potential contractors be invited to offer their services in accordance with a tender and bidding procedure. For this invitation, appropriate documents should be prepared by the executing agency (UNHCR or an implementing partner) to describe the procedures, the type of work to be carried out, the type of contractual arrangements that will regulate the future works and the mutual relations between the client and the contractor during project implementation.
13. Tender documents, in general, should contain an introduction section, where the basic "rules" to be applicable to the future contract are explained (these rules, of course, should always be compatible with UNHCR's financial and programming rules); a list of the document's terms, expressions, abbreviations, etc., and their respective meanings will also be included, as well as the definition of the working language(s) and type of units to be used (usually metric units should be used; however, the final choice depends on the country and its normal practice; in this case, conversion factors should be defined). Currency units should also be defined. The next part of the document should be the instructions to bidders section, which should clearly explain:
i) General principles, including general specifications and instructions for bidding and for the handling and flow of documentation, as well as the price (if any) to be paid for these documents by bidders;
ii) Procedures for the amendment of published documents; it may be necessary to amend, cancel or make addenda to previously published documents; procedures for this purpose, and their time frame, should be adequately explained;
iii) Type of information to be given to potential bidders and UNHCR's (or the implementing partner's) responsibilities and limits on the type of information given. This is the place to make it well understood that although legal constraints may not be spelled out, they should be applicable in as much as national or regional laws are applicable to UNHCR, implementing partners or contractors. The procedures to be followed for the obtention/release of specific information, including time frames, should be explained. The value of "non-technical" or "unofficial" information given or received by UNHCR, the implementing partner or government counterparts should also be defined here;
iv) Legal requirements for bidding companies/individuals (i.e. contractors); technical or financial capacity, required expertise and experience, definition of the "rules of the game" for groups of individuals or companies who, as in a "joint venture", decide to participate as a single body;
v) Definition of restrictions and incompatibilities, to exclude persons/companies which, by legal restrictions, or any other reason, may not work as UNHCR's contractor; these restrictions may also be extended to all activities within the future contract (i.e. banks, consultancies, supervision, monitoring, etc.);
vi) Presentation of offers. It is necessary to define the number of copies required for each document, the formats, language, style, currency used, pricing criteria, cost breakdowns (e.g. local versus international procurement, international staff, local labour, etc.), payment arrangements. It will also be necessary to define the treatment to be given to incomplete, partial or late offers, to incorrect (e.g. arithmetically) offers, as well as the legally binding character of the offers. All additional documentation, to be handed jointly with the offers, is to be defined (legal certificates, guarantees, bonds, etc.) as well as the procedures required for the amendment of offers, addenda to them or their withdrawal;
vii) Assessment of offers. The opening of offers should be defined in terms of exercise (private/public), venue and date;
viii) Treatment of bidding documents. The legally binding character of the offers should be repeated here, and a definition of unacceptable documents or offers due to defects or legal constraints should also be given;
ix) Contractual arrangements. Definition of who is to award the contract, when and how; criteria used, always leaving open the possibility to reject all offers if found unacceptable; procedures and criteria for appeals;
x) Documentation and guarantees for the contract. A definition of what documents, when and how they should be provided by the successful contractor; these documents should, at least, contain information on the contractor's legal and financial status and on the required performance guarantees, licenses or permits;
xi) Procedures to formalize contractual agreements. Definition of document formats, procedures for their approval at all levels (local, regional, national, UNHCR Headquarters, etc.), other documents necessary for the due completion of contractual documents (insurances, lists of prices, etc.); work programmes and time schedules, other management tools (bar charts, flow diagrams, etc.); direction, monitoring, inspection and acceptance (or rejection) criteria and procedures should also be defined.
A last section should contain the general contractual norms, including:
i) Legal obligations of the different parties involved, the legal character of all documents, the obligations of the contracting party or client (UNHCR or implementing partner) including all mandatory clauses for project implementation and contractual arrangements; information to be provided by the client, other requirements and responsibilities;
ii) The obligations of the contractor, including the provision of labour and his obligations towards them, services to UNHCR/implementing partner and their staff, provision of adequate materials and equipment, laboratory/sampling/testing facilities, storage facilities, etc;
iii) General principles and rules to be followed during project implementation should be spelled out and discussed in this section, including:a) The need to follow plans, specifications, instructions and other decisions made in accordance with contractual terms, sound technical practices and "good faith";
b) Contractor's responsibilities during implementation, including those at working sites, obtention of permits and licenses as required;
c) The type of communications between the contractor and UNHCR or the implementing partner, specifying the inclusion of a "log book" which will be part of the official communication channels between parties and which should always remain at the work sites;
d) UNHCR's or the implementing partner's inspection authorities and responsibilities;
e) The importance of technical plans and specifications;
f) The procedures to solve discrepancies within plans, to amend them or to change them;
g) The need for temporary arrangements at the construction site, especially if these arrangements are likely to interrupt existing services or facilities (opening of existing roads or destruction of crops for pipe laying, etc.). Provisions should always be made here against the destruction of trees, wild life pollution, etc.;
h) The property of the material resulting from works and the responsibility for cleaning work sites from debris, pollutants, etc.;
i) The need to follow previously agreed time schedules and other work plans, while making provisions for required changes of any of these working plans within the limits of contractual arrangements;
iv) Procedures to make changes outside of contractual arrangements (supplementary agreements, procedures, practices, other documentation, communications);
v) All aspects related to inspection mechanisms, procedures, rules and practices, including the use of the "log book", reports and acceptance/rejection tests, adjustments and changes of designs or schedules, practices during partial or total suspension of works, procedures for partial or final payments and the use of guarantees and quality or function bonds;
vi) If required, arrangements for subcontracted interventions should also be spelled out (applicability, relations between contractors, subcontractors, UNHCR, implementing partners);
vii) Conditions for compliance and resolution should also be given (cancellation of contract, claims, arbitration).
Tender documents are finally completed with a collection of the technical drawings/blue prints, showing the location, characteristics and technical specifications of the water system which are added as an annex to the main body of the documents. In view of the large amount of information that should be contained in these drawings, it is necessary to be careful in the choice of their scale and layout to avoid cluttering and difficulties in reading them. As a minimum, this set of drawings should include:
i) the topographic and hydraulic profiles of the pipeline;
ii) a detail of each system component (main or branch lines, intakes, pumping stations, break pressure tanks, treatment plant structures, storage facilities, distribution standposts) and of any sections of the pipeline requiring special attention or construction methods (river crossings, valves boxes, interconnections, etc.);
iii) a general plan view of the system, showing its layout and its relative position as referred to appropriate landmarks or camp infrastructure;
iv) a "key plan" of the system, showing, schematically, the relative arrangements for the tanks, control valves, branchlines, standposts and other service connections.
14. A project is ready for implementation once its final design has been achieved and approved and adequate funding has been secured for it. To initiate construction works, some initial steps, depending on the implementation arrangements and the institutional set up of the assistance programme, need to be taken. It is necessary to emphasize the need to follow designs and plans as closely and accurately as possible, as well as the inspection, acceptance and rejection mechanisms, specially if UNHCR's implementing partners are themselves undertaking the construction works (no contractors' involvement). It will be necessary to carry out further discussions with successful contractors, to make sure every single contractual detail (as suggested by the tender documents) is agreeable to all parties involved; the results of these discussions will be recorded and included in the final contractual document, which, after approval by a Contracts' Committee if necessary, is to be signed by the contractor and UNHCR or the implementing partner, as appropriate. This document will be based on the general contractual norms forming part of the tender documents, the time frames for construction and on the technical specifications and drawings of the future system (See 6.57; 12.13).
15. During construction works, UNHCR and the implementing partners will collaborate with the contractor in all matters related to the organization of the work site, storage/warehouse and other logistic needs, the organization of refugee labour or other community inputs, etc. and any other aspect considered important for the timely and effective completion of the project. It should always be clear, however, that the ultimate responsibility for these activities belongs to the contractor (See 6.36; 11.15; 11.18).
16. During construction, close supervision is necessary to ensure that each system component is being built in accordance with plans and specifications and on time (according to contractual time frames). At the project site, the contractor will make daily reports on his activities, achievements and use of materials in a log book (a sturdily bound notebook having all its pages numbered). The inspector, an engineer with adequate professional background and expertise, working on behalf of UNHCR or the implementing partner, will periodically review this book and annotate there his comments and instructions, or the results of relevant discussions with the contractor or his crews. On the basis of this book and other relevant information, the inspector will prepare periodical reports on the works' progress, the problems encountered, and propositions on how the project should continue. This report should provide enough information to allow the estimation of partial or periodical payments, in accordance with achievements and contractual rules; for this purpose, it may also be necessary for the inspector to present a financial statement to substantiate his recommendations.
17. Once the project is considered completed, the contractor should hand over to UNHCR or the implementing partner a financial statement showing clearly the costs in cash or in kind for each system component. This statement is to be certified by the supervisor.
18. The contractor will also hand over a final report to UNHCR or the implementing partner containing at least:
i) A brief history of the project and its implementation phase;
ii) Technical details and plans, with necessary comments, of all system components;
iii) Comments on technical aspects relevant to operation and maintenance requirements, life expectancy of installations, special care required by them, possibilities for extension of the system or its services, etc.;
iv) Hand over note, concerning the system and its installations, with a clear sheet of instructions for operation and maintenance, for the use of caretakers (See 11.7).
v) A complete set of "as built plans" for all structures, buildings, pipelines and other system components, where all modifications to the initial designs should be made to reflect the real characteristics of the resulting structures and installations (See 10.22).
19. All these reports, technical information, guidelines and drawings should be collected to be used as the basis of the technical documentation required for future operation, maintenance and control purposes (See 2.11; 11.3; 10.23).
20. In a refugee camp, operation and maintenance activities are long-term responsibilities of camp managers (See 2.8; 5.2; 11.2; 11.5; 11.15; 11.18), the water committee, relevant refugee groups and relevant staff (caretaker and his crew). Adequate funding for all these activities and their requirements should be secured through their inclusion within the general assistance programme in accordance with the standard formats for project submission and with the technical project description of the activities to be carried out and their expected results (See 12.7). Care should be taken to spell out every single activity requiring funds or other inputs and some allowance should be made for unforeseen or additional requirements. In this context, close attention should be given to the estimation of materials, labour, expertise, logistic and technical support required for their inclusion in working plans, time schedules and budgets (See 8.9; 8.25; 11.7; 11.16).
21. Maximum involvement of local authorities and specialized government departments in the construction operation and maintenance of camp infrastructure should be sought at the early stages of project implementation. Water supply operation and maintenance activities at a refugee camp offer a good opportunity to trigger this involvement; efforts should be made to promote the eventual integration of refugee services into existing national programmes, especially if a durable solution to the refugee problem is not at hand.
22. UNHCR's budget structure defines a project in terms of the fund (annual programme, emergency fund, trust funds...) the type of assistance (emergency, care and maintenance, local settlement...) and the caseload (beneficiaries). This definition is the basis of a system of symbols and codes to enter or retrieve budgetary information for programming or project management purposes. This system is called the FMIS budget structure (See the UNHCR Handbook, Chapter 4). Within this structure, water supply activities are grouped under "sector D - Water (Non-agricultural)" which requires the allocation of project activities to six different codes:
D.03 Water system development/construction
D.21 Water system operations
D.97 Training/orientation/seminar, etc.
D.98 Other water activities (specify)
D.99 Sector support/management
The first code includes all project activities and requirements for the obtention of basic data (e.g. hydrogeological or topographical surveys, water quality studies, etc.) and for the design of the system or any of its components (See 5.1); the cost of activities undertaken during the needs assessment and project preparation (See 12.1; 12.8) as well as those to cover the costs involved in sector evaluations (comparison between objectives and achievements; corrective measures) should, therefore, be included under this code. The second code (D.03) comprises the cost of all those activities related to the construction of the water system or any of its components. It should include the costs of repairs to the system's infrastructure and extentions of existing facilities (See 3.9). The third code (D.21) should cover all those activities related to the operation and maintenance of the water supply system and its components and which, at least during the emergency operations, should necessarily be covered by the assistance programme (See 11.2). The nature of operation and maintenance activities depends on the system's technological approach and should be reflected in the camp's operation and maintenance plan (See 11.7), which should also identify its logistic needs to ensure their appropriate coverage under this code (See 11.16). The next code (D.97) should cover those activities related to on-the job training to those responsible for operation and maintenance activities within the sector, including individual or refugee groups and counterpart staff (See 2.9; 11.3; 11.6). Code D.98 may cover any water sector activity which should be depicted in budgetary and other programming and financial documents for any particular reason; the type of activities under this code should, of course, be identified. Water tanker operations or the coverage of household water storage needs (See 8.9) may be examples of budgetary lines under this code. Code D.99 should include all staff and technical support costs (expertise, specialized equipment, etc) related to day-to-day operation, maintenance and management of the water system, including in-kind payments to refugee workers.
23. The FMIS budget structure requires two additional budget specifications after the sector and the activity codes to complete the specification of any budgetary line. These codes define the line's item and sub-item. A list of item and sub-item codes is presented in Chapter 4 of the UNHCR Handbook and in other FMIS documentation. This list should be consulted to ensure the appropriatedness of the coding.