Urban poor and access to daily water supply

Essay by mili1625B-, August 2014

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Monika Ilic | GEOS1001

The ways that the urban poor in developing countries access water for their day-to-day lives.

The urban poor are extremely vulnerable to extreme weather events such as flooding and drought,

which are exacerbated by the effects of climate change because they are often overlooked by the

government and local authorities and struggle to adapt to these changes without sufficient

assistance and knowledge of these processes. This has severely impacted on the way the urban

poor in developing countries, particularly Sub-Saharan African and Southern Asian countries,

access water for their day-to-day lives. Their struggles and their increased vulnerability to climate

change events such as droughts and floods, that have potentially devastating impacts on their

access to water, strongly reinforce socio-economic marginalization and vulnerability. They also

demonstrate a need to develop more effective strategies and measures to assist in better access to

water, with the continued assistance and support of the government and local authorities which

many urban poor feel they are lacking.

The issue of inadequate water supply from the municipal water system in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region of the world whose population has the least access to improved

water supply.1 This makes it one of the most vulnerable areas and the most dependent on private

water supply projects such as water kiosks when they do not have access to the municipal water

system. In the case of Iganga, an urban site in south central Uganda with a very high population

density, it was found that only 13% of households received piped water for a few hours a day, a

startling comparison to 1967 when all sample households received adequate supplies of water 24

hours a day2, according to the results of a study by Thompson. These results demonstrate the

devastation that rapid population...