Affordability of basic services under conditions of extreme inequality

Currently Namibia is ranked as the country with the most skewed distribution of income and the driest in the region. The paper examines the affordability of water and sanitation services for urban users, especially the poor, based on the perceptions of the water users, towards the price and type of water and sanitation services rendered in Windhoek (capital of Namibia). Results indicated that the an orderly way of addressing differential services based on income levels, facilitates the reallocation and upgrading of affordable services, especially for the urban poor and instils a sense of payment for services and empowerment to strive for improved standards of living. There are no formal cross-subsidy policies in place for the urban domestic water sector; hence the results indicate that a proper price-setting process involving cross-subsidizing tariffs should be put in place to cater for all urban needs.