Access to clean water is a basic human right; however, worldwide over 700 million people still lack access to a safe, reliable and sustainable supply of water. Target 6.1 of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) highlights the need to, ‘achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all’ by 2030. Global figures show gradual improvements in people’s access to safe water, however, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has lagged behind other regions. In Tanzania, only 50% of the population had access to basic water services in 2015 and there are still large spatial disparities in accessing clean water, with residents of rural areas and low-income urban areas being under-served compared to other residents. Consequently, there is a substantial disconnect between large-scale water access monitoring that occurs within the SDG framework and the reality of people’s everyday access to water in rural and low-income urban areas. This PhD will take an individual-centric approach to water access, by exploring the everyday realities of people (mainly women and children) accessing drinking water in Tanzania and connecting decision makers to these experiences by exploring ways to make SDG6.1 a reality by 2030 in Tanzania.
The overarching aim of this project is to critically explore both current and future spatio-temporal patterns of community access to safe drinking water in rural and urban low-income communities of Tanzania.
The specific objectives are to:
- Use observation techniques, filmed walking interviews and creative methods in order to understand people’s experiences of accessing water over space and time;
- Quantify the spatio-temporal changes in people’s water quality by analysing microbial contamination in household water samples;
- Utilise participatory workshops with key stakeholders to predict future spatially-refined water access in rural and low-income urban Tanzania.