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Water for the urban poor : water markets, household demand, and service preferences in Kenya

Based on a survey of 674 households, this paper examines current water use and unit costs in three Kenyan cities and also tests the willingness of the unconnected to pay for piped water, yard connections, or an improved water kiosk (standpipe) service. By examining water-use behavior of poor and non-poor households, this study brings into question a long-standing notion in the literature -that the poor are underserved, use small quantities of water, and pay a higher unit price for it. It also indicates that the standard prescription to "price water and create water markets" is in itself insufficient to improve service delivery and that without appropriate institutional arrangements, technical solutions such as water kiosks may not succeed in delivering an affordable service to the poor.

TitleWater for the urban poor : water markets, household demand, and service preferences in Kenya
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsGulyani, S., Talukdar, D., Kariuki, R.M.
Secondary TitleWater Supply and Sanitation Sector Board discussion paper series
Volumeno. 5
Paginationiv, 32 p. : 1 box, 2 fig., 13 tab.
Date Published2005-01-01
PublisherWorld Bank
Place PublishedWashington, DC, USA
Keywordskenya, low-income communities, piped distribution, public standposts, sdiafr, sdiman, surveys, urban areas, water costs, water use, willingness to pay
Abstract

Based on a survey of 674 households, this paper examines current water use and unit costs in three Kenyan cities and also tests the willingness of the unconnected to pay for piped water, yard connections, or an improved water kiosk (standpipe) service. By examining water-use behavior of poor and non-poor households, this study brings into question a long-standing notion in the literature -that the poor are underserved, use small quantities of water, and pay a higher unit price for it. It also indicates that the standard prescription to "price water and create water markets" is in itself insufficient to improve service delivery and that without appropriate institutional arrangements, technical solutions such as water kiosks may not succeed in delivering an affordable service to the poor.

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The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.