How Technical and Governance Factors Influence Financial Sustainability of Community-Managed Borehole Water Kiosk Service in Kisumu county, Republic of Kenya
Keywords:Community-Managed, Financial Sustainability, Governance, Technical Design, Water Kiosk Service
Access to safe drinking water is a global challenge, with approximately one-quarter of the world's population lacking such access. Kenya, like many Sub-Saharan African countries, grapples with water insecurity, leading to the establishment of water kiosks as a solution. However, such kiosks often face financial setbacks. This study examined the influence of technical designs and governance factors on the financial sustainability of community-managed borehole water kiosk services in Kisumu County, Kenya. The specific objectives were threefold. The first objective was to analyse the influence of water kiosks’ technical design and layout. The second was to examine the influence of borehole water committee governance. The final specific objective was to assess the influence of household participation in governance. A mixed-methods research design was employed, combining qualitative data from three focus group discussions with 31 water kiosk operators and quantitative data from questionnaires administered to 460 user households. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were used to analyse quantitative data, while thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. In the first objective, it was established that borehole kiosks that opened twice in a day (odds ratio = 3.58; p =.050) had statistical significance, while water kiosks discharging water with moderate pressure (odds ratio = 0.64; p =.070) had a statistically marginally significant influence on financial sustainability. For the second objective, the user households’ knowledge of the water committee members (odds ratio = 0.54; p =.002) and the frequency of water committee members’ meetings (odds ratio = 0.02; p =.026) were also established as statistically significant in influencing the financial sustainability of community-managed water kiosks. Finally, for the third objective, the household contributions towards the establishment of the borehole water kiosk (odds ratio = 0.01; p =.001) were established to significantly influence financial sustainability. Results from qualitative analysis triangulated these findings from statistical analysis. For instance, during the focus group discussions, the kiosk operators were equally concerned about the frequent breakdown of borehole water kiosks. Therefore, efficient service delivery and water quality maintenance are essential for financial sustainability. Furthermore, membership fees play a crucial role in providing financial support. Policymakers and stakeholders should consider these findings to develop subsequent strategies that ensure reliable access to safe drinking water not just in Kenya but across similar developing countries.
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