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Title: Independent and small scale urban water providers in Kenya and Ethiopia
Author: Okotto, Lorna Grace Owuor
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 7639
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2010
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In many urban centres of developing countries a large population is without access to water or are poorly served by the official water utilities. These rely on independent and small scale water providers (I&SSWPs). Such providers largely operate unofficially. Their role is often ignored or misunderstood and described negatively. This research aimed at examining water provision by I&SSWPs and the need to intergrate their services into the formal water supply as a possible means of improving water provision. The research was done through household water usage study and analysis of I&SSWPs. Key water stakeholders were also involved. Questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and workshops were used. In addition, water quality monitoring involving supply chain analysis combined with sanitary inspections was carried out. I&SSWPs operating under various business models bring basic water services to households in areas served. Water provision by I&SSWPs is complex resulting in interactions and overlaps between the formal and informal water provision. Some provide a 'virtual piped network' while where households have their own connections to official piped network discontinuity makes I&SSWPs the main sources. Through I&SSWPs with their own sources, households per capita water use improved remarkably. I&SSWPs generally operate competitively. Cost of water from I&SSWPs without their own sources is high for poor households, but would be pro-poor strategies are ineffective. I&SSWPs' income and profits vary, but water selling remains an important means of sustaining livelihoods. Although house-hold decision makers understand the importance of choosing safe drinking water, access factors can supersede resulting in the use of poor quality sources provided by some I&SSWPs. This research demonstrates the need to reconcile the vital services I&SSWPs provide with the need to improve practice to protect users and make services affordable. Consumers will benefit if the role I&SSWPs play can be recognized and enhanced to improve water provision.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available