Factors influencing provision of water services in urban poor residence: a case of Nyali slums in Mombasa County, Kenya
Kitasi, Wanga S
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The purpose of this study was to establish how government policies, population expansion, corruption, infrastructure, and drought influence water services provision to the urban poor. Previous researches postulates policy viewpoints as major sources of structural constraints in water services provision to the urban poor residents hence in one way or the other, government policies either positively or negatively influence water services provision to the public; Kenya's population in major urban centers is increasing rapidly and is feared to hinder supply of clean water; corruption in the sector is understood to be a thorny issue and occurs largely through aspects such as billing and metering, favoritism in public procurement, offering of bribes, and nepotism in the allocation of public positions; deterioration of infrastructure on the other hand presents a challenge to national water services strategy; and lastly drought is understood to lower water tables and limit water availability leading to severe scarcity. These observations were however based on studies conducted in larger cities and larger slum areas; consequently, very little literature exists around these factors and the state of affairs in relatively small slums. This study therefore focused on these factors in the context of how they could influence water services provision in relatively smaller slum areas. The study employed descriptive survey design and targeted water kiosk operators and employees of MOWASCO as its target population. Purposive and census sampling was used to select respondents for the study where all operational water kiosks and 4 divisional heads. of MOW ASCO were sampled to represent the population. The study collected both primary and secondary data by use of structured questionnaires and interviews with key informants, and table review of literature respectively. Before data was collected, enumeration was conducted to map the sampled population and the questionnaires tested for validity and reliability. Data analysis and presentation employed various techniques and methods including descriptive and qualitative techniques. In descriptive statistical analysis, frequency distribution; measures of central tendency; measures of variability and measures of association or relationships were used to analyze data which was presented in form of frequency tables supported by percentages and narratives. Cross tabulations were also used to examine the relationships between various variables. The study found that government policies created confusion in the sector as well as avenues for grand corruption, thus restructuring in the water sector has never provided significant improvement on service provision. Rate of population expansion in the area was very high and increases demand for water as well as instances of illegal connections, and instances of breakages and leakages; Corruption was found to be an issue in the water sector and increases instances of favors for high pressure connections, as well as instances of illegal connections, instances of poor quality infrastructure and lowers quality of water supply; Status of infrastructure was found to be very poor and increases instances of breakages, lowers quality of water supply, and increases cost of maintenance; Prolonged drought was found to limit water availability, increase instances of water table fall overburden, as well as instances of average precipitation, instances of water table falling, instances of drying up of public water systems and lowers water flow. The study concluded that the variables under study i.e. government policies, population expansion, corruption, poor infrastructure, and prolonged drought negatively influenced water services provision to the urban poor residence of the study area. The study recommended streamlining of government policies, regulating population growth as well as rural-urban migration, taming of corruption, regular maintenance of infrastructure, and building of more reservoirs and promoting rain water harvesting as well as awareness creation as key strategies to address these problems.