|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of the study was to determine the factors influencing household access to water supply in Mutito Division, Kitui District Kenya. The objectives of the study were a) To identify main water supply sources in Mutito Division. b) To analyze the factors influencing household accessibility to potable water in the area, and c) To determine gender roles in water harvesting, transportation and demand management. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques of data collection were used. The questionnaire and a case study guide were the main instruments of data collection and this was supported by secondary data from reviewed literature.
Using survey data the study formulated chi-square analysis to estimate relationships between the socio-economic and physical factors that influence household water access in the study area. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to determine the relationship between socio-economic factors and household access to water. Further, the study conducted a T-test to compare actual amount of water available for the household and the amount they would have spend if there was enough water at their disposal.
The study findings showed that female headed households were poorer than their male counterparts and therefore, this impacted on their ability to invest in water transporting implements reducing the amount of water transported home. The results of Chi-Square test of significance (X2= 28.92; df = 2; p= 0.000) indicated that there was a significant relationship between family size and access to water supply at probability of error = 0.05. Pearson's correlation coefficient indicated that larger families were less likely to have access to adequate water (r= -0.25, p=0.05, n=150).
The highest proportion of households with inadequate access to water supply was among households headed by those aged 51 years and above followed by 41 to 50 years, 31-40 years, and less than 30 years in that order. Pearson's correlation coefficient confirmed this as families headed by older house heads were more likely to have inadequate water (r=-0.11, p=0.05, n=150).
. There was a slight increase in access to water supply as the level of education increased. Poor households lacked resources to invest in water harvesting and Transportation implements. Therefore, families headed by higher income house heads were more likely to have adequate water (r=0.41, p=0.05, n=150).
There was an acute water shortage in the study area. Water for household use during the dry season was fetched from shallow wells dug on dry river channels. These wells went up to a depth of 5 meters. This water was transported back home using; beasts of burden, human labour (head/back loading) and even bicycles. The wells were dug and owned by men owing to patriarchal land ownership structures. This impacted on the ability of poor female headed households to access water at the source. At the national level in the spirit of the Vision 2030, the study proposes, sinking of boreholes, harvesting of run-off water through communal water tanks and subsurface dams. Further, at an individual level the study proposes investing in water cans, donkeys and animal drawn carts to increase amount of water ferried home and quality time for farm work and family care||en_US