Sustainability management of the recommended quality and quantity of drinking water in Malawi :developing a framework

Ungwe, Asumani N.A. (2015) Sustainability management of the recommended quality and quantity of drinking water in Malawi :developing a framework. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

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Abstract

Supply of safe drinking water is well-recognised as a catalyst for improving public health and social welfare as well as spurring economic growth. For this to be achieved, the water used should be both adequate and safe for human consumption. However, it has been noted that in Malawi the quality and quantity of water used by the consumers deteriorates and decreases respectively as time passes after commissioning of the water supply systems. For the quality and quantity of drinking water (drinking water supply services) to be sustainable, there is a need to manage all the factors that affect them. However, not all the factors are currently managed. With only some of the factors being managed, not all the aspects required for sustainability of the quality and quantity of drinking water are maintained. It is also noted that the factors that are managed are selected based on their popularity and perceived order of importance. As such, the factors that are managed are not necessarily the root causes of the deterioration of the quality and quantity of the supplied drinking water. While this is the case, it is known that for a problem to be solved completely, there is a need to deal with its root causes. In addition, addressing of the root causes, which are fewer than the total number of the factors that affect sustainability of drinking water supply (DWS) services, is a simple way of managing all the factors. Therefore, the aim of this research was to identify the root causes of sustainability failure of DWS services in Malawi, evaluate the outcomes of managing the root causes on sustainability of DWS services, and develop a framework for managing the identified root causes to improve sustainability of DWS services. Root cause analysis, survey and multiple case studies were employed as the research strategies for this study. Five DWS experts took part in the root cause analysis, ten water supply systems were studied as cases while 40 respondents participated in the survey. All the participants and the case water supply systems were from Malawi. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed in the study. The findings of this research include the identification of 7 combined effects through which various factors affect sustainability of DWS services in Malawi. The research has also established that interaction of the factors that affect sustainability of DWS services in Malawi is kick-started by 26 root causes. Comprehensive sets of strategies and tactics have been developed to address the 7 combined effects and the 26 root causes respectively. Six critical requirements necessary for effective implementation of the strategies and tactics have also been identified. Accordingly, an overarching framework, with step-by-step instructions on how to improve sustainability of DWS services in Malawi, has been developed. The theoretical contribution of this research is that there will be increased understanding of the issues that affect sustainability of DWS services in Malawi and other countries with similar contexts. As regards practical contribution, the framework developed in this research - when used by the DWS practitioners, managers and policy makers - is expected to lead to improved sustainability of DWS services in Malawi and other countries with similar contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: An electronic version of the thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Doctor of Philosophy degree
Uncontrolled Keywords: Malawi - case studies, drinking water, water quality management
Divisions: University of Bolton Theses > Off-campus Division
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 14:58
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/731

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