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06/13/2012

Research Proposal on Socio-cultural Challenges Facing Water Demand and Supply in Slums in Kenya


Socio-cultural Challenges Facing Water Demand and Supply in Slums in Kenya

 

1.0 Introduction

The working title of the study is initially drafted as: Socio-cultural Challenges Facing Water Demand and Supply in Slums in Kenya. In particular, the research will focus on determining the social and cultural challenges that the residents of slums are currently experiencing in terms of water demand and supply. Water supply in Kenya is basically characterized by low accessibility. The paper discusses in detail the research proposal of the topic. In this research proposal, the background and problem of the study are presented; the objectives of the study are formulated. Here, vital concepts, questions and assumptions are stated. Finally, the methodology to be used is discussed.

Kenya is basically classified as a water scarce country whereby the demand for water exceeds renewable freshwater sources hence the shortage in supply. According to WASREB (2009), of the 55 water service providers, only 9 provide continuous water supply. The continuity of supply is 14 hours on average in these 55 water facilities. Water access is low specifically in urban slums and in rural areas. The water supply is being exacerbated by seasonal and regional water scarcity. For instance, Kenya receives an annual average rainfall of 621mm; rainfall is extremely variable in space and time as well as intensity.  

In 2008, it was estimated that 59% of Kenyans had access to improved drinking water sources while 19% are having access to piped water through house or yard connection. The Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) also reported that water access in the rural area had increased from 32% to 52%. JMP’s report also estimates that in 2006-2007 only 37% of Kenyans had access to adequate and safe drinking water close to their homes at an affordable price (JMP, 2009).     

Service quality is closely monitored by WASREB according to which the indicators of service quality are water quality, continuity of supply and wastewater treatment. In 2007, the customers’ perception of water quality where around 70% of households using water from connections to the mains made mentioned that the taste and smell of water is acceptable and water was clear. A vast majority of Kenyans, nonetheless, treat water prior to consumption, manifesting the continuity of uncertainty about the quality (WASREB, 2007).  

2.0 Statement of the Problem

What are the various socio-cultural challenges that people living in slums in Kenya when it comes to accessing water as well as the demand and supply of such is not known. The key problem that will be addressed in this study is to investigate these challenges along with the nature of water demand and supply in the slums. The following research questions will be given answer to in the course of the study.

1)   What are the social challenges that the residents of slums are currently experiencing? How these social challenges are being addressed?

2)    What are the cultural challenges that the residents of slums are currently experiencing? How these social challenges are being addressed?

3.0 Overview of Methodology

The research strategy that the study will utilize is the descriptive method. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing (Best, 1970). This research is also cross-sectional because of limited time. This research is a study of a particular phenomenon (or phenomena) at a particular time. (Saunders et al, 2003) Accordingly, cross-sectional studies often employ the survey strategy.

In this study, primary and secondary research will be both incorporated. The reason for this is to be able to provide adequate discussion for the readers that will help them understand more about the issue and the different variables that involve with it. The primary data for the study will be represented by the survey results that will be acquired from the respondents. On the other hand, the literature reviews to be presented in the second chapter of the study will represent the secondary data of the study. The secondary sources of data will come from published articles from books and journals and theses and related studies.

The survey method, also known as the questionnaire method, will be used in gathering the data for this study. Surveys are the most common form of research method for collection of primary data. The descriptive survey of the population is valuable in understanding the audience, and in the definition of the existence and magnitude of the problems, and the survey data are also helpful in determining cause and effect relationships between variables. Residents of the slums will be surveyed about their perceptions on different social and cultural challenges they are currently experiencing in relation to their water needs and respective supply.

References

Best, J. W. (1970). Research in Education, 2nd Ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc. 

Creswell, J.W. 1994. Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

JMP. (2009). Kenya Information Guide.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2003). Research Methods for Business Students, 3rd Ed. London: Prentice Hall Financial Times.

WASREB. (2007). Citizens’ Report Card on urban water, sanitation and solid waste services in Kenya.

WASREB. (2009). Water Service Quality - Impact Report.

 

 

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