Exploring water access in rural Kenya: narratives of social capital, gender inequalities and household water security in Kitui county

Authors: Salome A. Bukachi, Dalmas Ochieng Omia, Mercy Mbithe Musyoka, Faith Mbithe Wambua, Mariah Ngutu Peter & Marina Korzenevica

Access to water and sanitation as a basic human right is still limited within resource-poor rural settings of Africa, including Kitui, Kenya. This is exacerbated by prevailing gender inequalities which can be mediated when communities leverage on social capital.

Qualitative methods were used to examine how values embedded in social capital enable women and vulnerable groups to cope with household water insecurity. How communities exploit the bonding and bridging dimensions of social capital to cope with water insecurities has gendered implications. Understanding the role of social capital is important in advancing public policy to reduce gender inequalities in water access.

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