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Title: Urban household's water provision : children's issues of concern
Author: Ofili, Charles Chukwuemeka
ISNI:       0000 0001 3455 1802
Awarding Body: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Current Institution: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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Extensive studies have been conducted on the impact of poor water supplies on children. Little account is taken on the information children possess and its effect on their relationship with their present water environments. This thesis explores this under-researched area of water and public health in developing countries. Aims: (a) To describe the role of children in the social organisation of collection and distribution of water and related health implications at household level, (b) To analyse key conceptual frameworks within which water is understood by children focusing on their roles and rights in household water provision and use Methods: A qualitative approach was adopted using methods, which include field observations, field interviews and focus group discussions. Data analysis explored children's involvement in the social organisation of household's water supply and how they conceptualise their roles and rights within their 'world of water'. Findings: Study findings provide evidence that: 1. Children are actively involved in the social organisation of household's water supply and in the sale and distribution of packaged drinking water. 2. Children perceive the task of water collection as a social obligation and custom that was handed down to them. 3. From children's conceptual standpoint, it is the fulfilment of the 'obligatory duty' of water collection that bestows the 'claim right to water' on children. 4. Children's perceived economic dependence on adults, meant children's access to water may only be secured by 'labour payments' through water fetching. 5. Children feel headaches, neck, chest and back pain, stiffness of the back and neck, general body aches and fatigue resulting from physical exertion. 6. Although water collection is perceived by children as lending a 'helping hand,' they still view the task as a 'hazardous' activity. 7. Power outages are perceived to impact severely on children's water collection activities and water rights. Conclusion: This thesis demonstrates that a better understanding of the traditional socio-cultural practice and the value placed on water is necessary in order to achieve children's rights and health vis-à-vis consumption and use of household's water in disadvantaged urban communities.
Supervisor: Stephens, Carolyn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral