Web-based mapping of water supply in low income urban areas: a case study of Westlands District of Nairobi
Water supply in low income urban areas is a huge challenge in many towns in Kenya. The nature and location of the areas presents a big challenge to water service providers as most of these areas are not planned and therefore setting up water connection to individual dwellings is difficult. Most of the areas have thus remained without water connections in their dwellings and have to rely on communal or yard taps which they share. Organizations or individual groups interested in providing water to these areas also lack sufficient data to make good decisions on what type of water source to provide or even how big a population should be catered for. This study was therefore carried out in order to provide basic but vital information on the demographic and water supply situation in urban low income areas, with Westlands district in Nairobi as a case study. Area characteristic data, demographic data and water supply data as well as location data was collected. The spatial location data enabled mapping of the areas and the corresponding data giving a more realistic visualization of the data. A database was created to store collected data, which was then analyzed and a web-based solution developed to enable outputting the results in a more widely accessible format. Most of the low income areas covered in this study are found within high income areas and are therefore within a short distance of the already established water distribution network but many rely on shared yard taps as their main water source. From the system developed as part of this project one is able to select the area to view with the water supply points and their details displayed on the map.
University of Nairobi, Kenya