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Article

The Cost of a Sustainable Water Supply at Network Kiosks in Peri-Urban Blantyre, Malawi

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Department of Accounting and Finance, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0QU, UK
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XN, UK
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GroundH2O Plus Ltd., Quinton, Birmingham B32 1DY, UK
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Engineering Unit, World Food Programme, 653 A Block 68, Arkawit, Khartoum P.O. Box 913, Sudan
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Engineers Without Borders, London SE11 5RR, UK
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BASEFlow, Galaxy House, Chichiri, Blantyre P.O. Box 30467, Malawi
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Water for People, Blantyre P.O. Box 1207, Malawi
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreas N. Angelakis
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4685; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094685
Received: 22 March 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 20 April 2021 / Published: 22 April 2021
Empirical insights were made into the challenges of supplying water to communities within low-income areas of peri-urban Blantyre, Malawi. A networked public water supply is provided to those without a domestic tap via communal water kiosks managed by community-based Water User Associations (WUAs) under a government mandate. There has been considerable debate surrounding the tariff charged for water supplied to such vulnerable communities. However, research has largely failed to consider the costs of WUAs operating the kiosks and the impact on the kiosk tariff. The determination of kiosk tariffs is critical to ensuring lifeline access to a sustainable water supply under Sustainable Development Goal 6. We provide evidence of this from our experience in the field in Blantyre. In particular, we argue that sustainable kiosk running costs cannot be born solely by the end user. A number of reforms are needed to help reduce the kiosk tariff. To reduce WUA costs and the kiosk tariffs, WUAs need more training in financial record keeping and cost management, WUAs should not inherit outstanding kiosk debt upon taking over their operations, and water boards should build kiosk costs over which they have fiscal responsibility into integrated block tariff calculations and subsidize them accordingly. View Full-Text
Keywords: kiosk; tariff; water supply; Water Users Associations (WUAs); affordability; accounting; service delivery; peri-urban; Sustainable Development Goal 6 kiosk; tariff; water supply; Water Users Associations (WUAs); affordability; accounting; service delivery; peri-urban; Sustainable Development Goal 6
MDPI and ACS Style

Coulson, A.B.; Rivett, M.O.; Kalin, R.M.; Fernández, S.M.P.; Truslove, J.P.; Nhlema, M.; Maygoya, J. The Cost of a Sustainable Water Supply at Network Kiosks in Peri-Urban Blantyre, Malawi. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4685. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094685

AMA Style

Coulson AB, Rivett MO, Kalin RM, Fernández SMP, Truslove JP, Nhlema M, Maygoya J. The Cost of a Sustainable Water Supply at Network Kiosks in Peri-Urban Blantyre, Malawi. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):4685. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094685

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coulson, Andrea B., Michael O. Rivett, Robert M. Kalin, Sergio M. P. Fernández, Jonathan P. Truslove, Muthi Nhlema, and Joseph Maygoya. 2021. "The Cost of a Sustainable Water Supply at Network Kiosks in Peri-Urban Blantyre, Malawi" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 4685. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094685

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