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Who cares about water?: A study of household water development in Sukumaland, Tanzania
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1993 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This is a study of the incentives and constraints which bear upon people's ability to improve access to and quality of household water through their own cooperative and household efforts. The focus is on activities that are managed and controlled in the community and involve human and physical resources. Equal emphasis is given to understanding continuity aspects (doing more of the same) and change (doing new things).

Thirty knowledgeable informants from six rural villages in Sukumaland provided the bulk of the information. They live in an area with a semi-arid to sub-humid climate situated south-east of Lake Victoria in Tanzania.

Human and physical factors influence what takes place on the local scene and a model is developed to analyse water-related activities. In-depth interviews and observation provide the basis for an exploration of ways in which individuals and neighbourhoods reason and act to obtain household water of acceptable quality at a reasonable distance. The interviews were aimed at elucidating the actual levels of knowledge and technical skills employed in effecting specific improvements. The informants' knowledge of hydrogeological conditions and of the hygienic aspects of water use are appraised and compared with full professional standards of knowledge.

Sukuma norms about water-related issues have been explored: water rights and control over water sources, and household and cooperative efforts. Informants' individual values on these matters are compared with the norms. The aim is to learn the ways in which both norms and individual values affect negotiations about proper measures in the community and within the household.

Four major findings come out of the analysis. The first is that villagers in general believe that there are affordable and manageable solutions to their own household water problems. Secondly, government and donor involvement in the household water sector tends to inhibit more advanced local initiatives and activities. Thirdly, the present gender-based division of household tasks interferes negatively with improvements. Finally, there are considerable differences in the value placed upon different kinds of accessible water sources by outside observers and the villagers themselves.

The prospects for future improvement in household water conditions are heavily influenced by the rapid population increase. The capacity for government interventions is limited, and in future most efforts to develop water supplies are expected to be made by individuals and neighbourhoods. The hydrological conditions allow for the provision of enough household water well into the next century, although the population growth will eventually cause water scarcity and hit food production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1993. , 300 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 85
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35102Local ID: 24865ISBN: 91-7871-060-XOAI: diva2:255950
Public defence
1993-05-10, Sal Elysion, Hus-T, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-06-07Bibliographically approved

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Drangert, Jan-Olof
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Department of Water and Environmental StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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