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Capturing the consumer-voice: an evaluation of the social sustainability of water users associations in Malawi

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:11 authored by Joseph Magoya, Muthi Nhlema
The definition of sustainability, as it pertains to drinking water supply (DWS) services, consists of a combination of several factors which each affect the level of sustainability differently. However, in Malawi, only financial self-sufficiency and decentralized day-to-day management of DWS services are considered when assessing the likelihood of a sustainable service system. However, the definition of sustainability has developed further to include societal aspects of sustainable development; namely “social sustainability”. Therefore, though financial and managerial facets of DWS service sustainability are important, if there are weak social relations between the DWS service and consumers, this will potentially threaten long term growth due to inadequate legitimacy to make social settlements for service expansions that could benefit more households. This paper will attempt to illustrate two years’ worth of research that was purposefully conducted to gain an understanding of the condition of social relations between water consumers and Water Users Associations in peri-urban Malawi.



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MAGOYA, J. and NHLEMA, M., 2016. Capturing the consumer-voice: an evaluation of the social sustainability of water users associations in Malawi. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all: Proceedings of the 39th WEDC International Conference, Kumasi, Ghana, 11-15 July 2016, Refereed paper 2413, 7pp.


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