Published Article

Intra-seasonal rainfall and piped water revenue variability in rural Africa

Rainfall patterns influence water usage and revenue from user payments in rural Africa. The authors explore these dynamics by examining monthly rainfall against 4,888 records of rural piped water revenue in Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda and quantifying revenue changes over 635 transitions between dry and wet seasons.

Socio-spatial and seasonal dynamics of small, private water service providers in Khulna district, Bangladesh

Small water service providers operating in informal markets across the Global South address critical gaps in public investments in the rural water sector. This study analyses the growth and operations of private desalination plants and distributing vendors in Khulna, Bangladesh, within the broader landscape of uncoordinated investments by government, donors and households. Household water choices and payment behaviour vary spatially and seasonally, with observable wealth differences in self-supply investments in rainwater tanks and tubewells. Monitoring and regulating informal private providers can improve sectoral coordination, increase efficiency of service delivery and unlock commercial finances against the backdrop of declining aid-based financing.

Effects of chronic exposure to arsenic on the fecal carriage of antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli among people in rural Bangladesh

Antibiotic resistance is a leading cause of hospitalization and death worldwide. Heavy metals such as arsenic have been shown to drive co-selection of antibiotic resistance, suggesting arsenic-contaminated drinking water is a risk factor for antibiotic resistance carriage. By collecting drinking water and stool from mothers and their children (<1 year), the study aimed to determine the prevalence and abundance of antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli among people and drinking water in high and low arsenic-contaminated areas of Bangladesh. The positive association detected between arsenic exposure and antibiotic resistance carriage among children in arsenic-affected areas in Bangladesh is an important public health concern that warrants redoubling efforts to reduce arsenic exposure.

Improving the Reliability of Water Service Delivery in Rural Kenya through Professionalized Maintenance: A System Dynamics Perspective

This study applies system dynamics modeling to assess the potential impact of scaling up professionalized maintenance services on piped water systems in Kitui County, Kenya. The study results show that over a
10 year simulation, calibrated with 21 months of empirical data and based on a range of key assumptions, delivery of professionalized maintenance services across the county may increase countywide functionality rates from 54% to over 83%, leading to a 67% increase in water production.

Water policy, politics, and practice: The case of Kitui County, Kenya

This article uses an action-orientated knowledge framework to consider types of knowledge produced through rural water “policy experiments” in Kitui County, Kenya over the past 10 years. Actionable recommendations for the further development of county-level water policy include: 1) ensure local ownership of the policy-making process whilst enabling appropriate technical and legal support; 2) take long timeframes of institutional change into account in donor programming; and 3) establish water, sanitation and hygiene forums that bring diverse actors within the sector together to build cohesion, facilitate knowledge exchange, enable collaborative learning, and deliver action.

Equitable urban water security: beyond connections on premises

This study investigates to what extent urban water security is equitable in a small town in Northern Ethiopia with almost uniform access to piped water services. Development of a household water insecurity index considering issues of quality, quantity, and reliability, demonstrated high spatial variability in water security between households connected to the piped water system.

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