Water governance dynamics in the informal settlements in Lusaka: a case of Chipata settlement, Zambia.

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Mulambia, Peter
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The University of Zambia
The dominant practices of water governance and settlement interventions in the cities of the global South are still rooted in the paradigms of global North resulting in increasing problems of poverty, informality, inequality and socio-spatial disintegration. The dominant interventions fail to address and engage with the ‘everyday’ practices of communities and the role of power in structuring multi-stakeholder and community-led service delivery arrangements. This research sought to examine the implications of community led multi-stakeholder collaborations in water and sanitation in informal settlements in Lusaka. The study used Chipata informal settlement as a case study to examine water governance dynamics in a context-specific community-led multi-stakeholder collaborative project called Community Driven Model for equitable services (COMEQS). Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, field observations and focus group discussions. The study used snowball sampling to select non-state actors, convenient sampling to select community residents while key informants were selected using purposive sampling. Data was analyzed using descriptive methods that include thematic and content analysis. Findings of the study reveal that though there are various actors in water provision in Chipata settlement, The Lusaka Supply Water and Sanitation Company is the main actor. Moreover, the collaboration among actors is weak and is characterized by multiple centers of power, conflicted civil society and existence of multiple societies. Further, the study shows that actors have divergent professional and survival interests, conflicting visions on the settlement, materialistic and social identities which have all propelled segregated decision-making processes limiting the spaces for social dialogue and deliberations needed for effective integrated community planning and service delivery. The study also indicated that integrated development-planning needs to be rooted in deep understanding of urbanisms of the community and its governance dynamics. The study addresses a crucial aspect of the provision of water in the informal settlements. This study concludes that water supply for the urban poor is still characterized by inequalities in terms of access, and affordability of water and sanitation services. The study recommends the concept of community-led multi-stakeholder collaboration as an alternative urban intervention framework that can be used to achieve inclusive and sustainable urban environments and restructure institutional relationships that would arguably lead to a more successful water and sanitation service delivery in the urban poor.
Thesis of Master of Science in Spatial Planning.