Inadequate accessibility as a cause of water inadequacy: a case study of Mpeketoni, Lamu, Kenya

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water adequacy depends on multiple variables. The provision of adequate drinking water in Sub-Saharan Africa often gets blurred by distortions in supply and demand relationships. Different development organisations have attempted to find solutions to the provision of adequate drinking water. However, while some attempts have succeeded in addressing water adequacy in terms of both the quantity available and that demanded, most attempts have failed to address other components of water adequacy. This paper analyses one such case in Mpeketoni, one of the six administrative divisions in the coastal district of Lamu, Kenya, and emphasises that accessibility in terms of distance and price are the major factors determining the success of this initiative. The paper finds that, whilst the target quantity has been achieved, accessibility has not been ensured. Considering the local factors, this paper suggests a spatial distribution of water facilities for adequacy. The paper's conclusion is that the infrastructure required to reach the target is quite difficult in the present context, and thus alternatives must be considered.

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