Understanding rural water supply and access in South Africa

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Title: Understanding rural water supply and access in South Africa
Author: Cothren, Paula
Abstract: Cothren, Paula G., Master of Natural Resources, International Resources Technical Option, Understanding rural water supply and access in South Africa Following the abolition of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, the democratically elected government made Constitutional commitments to improve former Homeland access to water in an attempt to address past racial and gender inequalities and poverty eradication. The mandate for decentralization and devolution of powers and functions to local governments has significant implications for water supply institutions and programs designed, in principle, to provide basic water to the large number of previously disadvantaged rural villages. Many remote poor rural villages in South Africa are still characterized by a disjuncture between the peoples’ basic water needs and their actual access and use of the water supply. The factors involved in deciding appropriate institutional arrangements for rural water supply are contextually complex. This paper presents findings from a desktop review of decades of governmental and non-governmental documents and program reports, as well as on the ground reconnaissance and focus groups experiences in remote rural villages. Recommendations illustrate how village-based interventions for water supply cost recovery mechanisms and facilities operation and maintenance tasks have potential to yield improved water access for sustainable livelihood enhancements and poverty reduction.
Publisher: North Carolina State University. College of Natural Resources
Date: 2013-01-02
Series/Report No.: Master of Natural Resources Professional Papers (North Carolina State University. College of Natural Resources)
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.4/8147

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