THE INFLUENCE OF WATER SECTOR REFORMS ON ACCESSIBILTY TO WATER IN THE RURAL AREAS: A CASE STUDY OF KITUI CENTRAL CONSTITUENCY
The Aim of this study was to investigate the influence of water sector reforms on accessibility to water in the rural areas: A case study of Kitui constituency. The objectives of the study were to examine:
The extent to which water sector reforms have increased number of water sources in Kitui Central,
the extent to which water sector reforms have reduced distances to water points in Kitui Central and the extent to which the distribution of water sources in Kitui Central is determined by local politics. The total sample size for the study was 100 households proportionally distributed in the two wards 50 each. A probability random sampling technique was adopted in selecting households for the study. In the two wards selected, with aid of a local person knowledgeable of the constituency, a landmark was identified as a starting point in each ward while sampling households. The landmark was the starting point, a household was systematically selected at an interval of 5 houses as one moved deeper inside the ward from the main road. Households were the main units of analysis for the study. Qualitative data from primary sources was coded and analyzed using SPSS and was organized according to various themes pertinent to the study. Frequency tables and statistical averages were used to present, analyze and interpret quantitative data. The study established that, the project team had adequate technology at their disposal, review and verification of the budget was done with all section heads and their job description required their input in budgetary activities. This study concludes that water sector reforms increased accessibility in provision of water services, increased the availability of water sources for rural people and alternative water sources were developed to eliminate dependency on one source of water making water more accessible to the people. This finding confirms the study’s first hypothesis that reforms improve accessibility of water for rural folks. The study therefore concluded that, water sector reforms have only increased the number of water sources in the rural areas but has not improved access to water by rural people.
The study recommends that, more water sources especially those aimed at storage like tanks be constructed at strategic social places like markets for easier access to water, withdrawal of the local politicians from matters of access to water, mechanisms be adopted to ensure these suppliers of water adhere to recommended retail price.
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