Impacts of Water Shortage in Githurai Ward, Kiambu County, Kenya
Ngima, Wanjohi P.
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Water is indispensable for life since it is a major basic need and is also important for economic activities. Information on the challenges of water supply and its socio-economic impacts is important as it forms a vital baseline for the detection of the positive impacts, the main challenges related to it and how to cope and deal with them. This study investigated the challenges of water supply and its socio-economic impacts in Githurai ward. The study was carried out between December 2012 and May 2013. To achieve the objectives of the research, guiding research questions were employed which investigated: the sources of water, causes of the erratic water supply, socio-economic impacts of water supply, adaptation strategies by the stakeholders to ensure water availability and environmental factors attributing to intermittent water supply in Githurai ward. Simple random sampling was used to select the households and water vendors while purposive sampling was used to select the water officers and the chiefs. Samples population was 384. Questionnaires (for households and vendors), interview schedules (for water officers and chiefs) and observation schedules were used as instruments for data collection. Validity of instruments and reliability were tested by subjecting the instruments to a pilot study. Data was analyzed statistically and presented in tables, charts and graphs. Chi square was used to test the hypothesis stated. Regression analysis was used to ascertain the predictive effect of causes of erratic water supply (R2 = 0.56, n= 384) and environmental factors (R2 = 0.62, n= 384) to water supply. Chi– square statistical test of analysis showed that there was a significant association between the source of water and the income in the area (χ2 = 21.362, n= 384, p= 0.002, df= 6). Thus accepting the hypothesis there is an association between the sources of water and the income of the households. There was a significant association between the distance travelled to water source and the gender (χ2 = 15.978, n= 384, p= 0.003, df= 1). There was a high significant association between the occupation and some of the water related problems (χ2 =22.136, n= 384, p= <0.001, df= 2). Thus accepting the hypothesis there is an association between the occupation and some of the water related problems. The study concluded that the water shortage is an evident issue in Githurai Ward. The study recommends that strategies be made to deal with illegal water connections and households embrace use of roof water harvesting to increase water collection during the rainy season. Water officers should involve the community to aid in water maintenance programmes.