An Evaluation of the Impact of Domestic Water Supply and Challenges faced by Women in Rural Zimbabwe: A Case Study of Sigangatsha and Malaba wards of Matobo District
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Water for domestic purposes is a scarce resource in the rural areas of Sigangatsha and Malaba wards, and the group mostly affected by this scarcity is women. This dissertation focused three objectives and the first objective was to examine the impact of domestic water supply on women in Sigangatsha and Malaba wards in Matobo district of Matabeleland South Province. The second objective was to identify the challenges faced by women in the two communities and lastly to identify implication for policy. In addition, the dissertation looks at aspects of domestic water supply problems that affect rural women, water supply sources, domestic rural water supply, approaches to domestic rural water supply and other aspects. The dissertation relies on the structuration theory propounded by Giddens (1984), the actor oriented perspective by Long (2001) and gender and development by Moser (1989). The dissertation relied on three techniques of data collection, literature review, questionnaires and focus groups which were used to collect information on norms, values, and understanding of the local practice in these two rural communities. The information was gathered from a sample of 60 women who were members of water projects in Sigangatsha and Malaba wards. Additional information was sought from six (6) extension staff members of government departments working in the area as well as extension staff members of a local NGO working in the area on the implementation of domestic water projects. The study revealed that policies are in place but the problem is with the implementation at the local level mainly due to limited financial resources to ensure that domestic water supply for rural communities is given a priority. The current National Domestic Water Supply Policy of August 2008 looks at both rural and urban areas. The study also revealed that there were multiple uses of water in the two communities. However, the study revealed a number of challenges that were being faced by women in accessing domestic water in Sigangatsha and Malaba wards. Among the challenges being faced by women were the time spent queuing for water and also the time spent walking for long distances meant that women had been deprived of the opportunity to engage in productive activities that could improve the well being of their families, Constant breakdown of boreholes were seen as a factor that was contributing to long distances women walked to access domestic water. The quality of water accessed, seasonal unreliability of the water sources and management of the water sources were also identified as challenges faced by women in accessing domestic water in Sigangatsha and Malaba ward.
Subjectrural water supply
domestic water supply
water source management
water source maintenance
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