Households’ Water Accessibility And Its Influence On Their Quality Of Life: A Case Of Mukuru And Mathare Informal Settlements In Nairobi County
According to NCWSC (2009), only 20% of slum households in Nairobi County have piped water connections. Most of slum residents buy water in 20 litre jerricans from private vendors or kiosks with far higher prices than middle and high income households, which typically have direct connections to the city’s network. The UN (2002) defined water accessibility as the availability of at least 20 litres of drinking water per person per day with maximum water hauling round trip of 30 minutes and should not spend more than 5% of their income on water. Kenya government (2007) set policies that increase access to safe water to the Kenyan from 60% to 80% by 2015. And water points should be located within 30 minutes round trip from house with flat rate of Ksh 204 for up to 6 cubic meters water. The purpose of this research was to determine the achievement of water accessibility in Mukuru and Mathare slums in terms of international guidelines and Kenya National policies and residents’ perceptions of water accessibility to their better quality of life. Three villages in each slum were selected and 192 household heads were sampled. The questionnaire served as the instrument for collecting data and Microsoft excel programme was used to analyze data. The two slums reached the goal of national policies to access safe water by indoor tap, private vendors and kiosks and the respondents in both slums spent an average of 24 litres of water per day per person. However, over half of them still consumed below 20 liters. They took an average 2 hours 14 minutes to collect water everyday. Around one third of the respondents spent over 5% of their income on water and they paid three or more times higher cost of the flat rate charged by the NCWSC. Water accessibility in Mukuru and Mathare slums met neither international guidelines nor national policies at all. Almost 80% of the respondents in both slums perceived realized access to water was crucial issue to improve their quality of life. Around 60% of respondents expressed their dissatisfaction with the water supply and their daily water consumption. Kiosks which were prevalent in Mathare provided better water service to the residents with short physical distance, high hygiene conditions, low water cost, few price fluctuations and there was high satisfaction of the respondents with their water supply than was the case with water service by private vendors who were dominant in Mukuru slum.