Understanding the Social Effects of Water Intervention Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Qualitative Study in Kitui, Kenya
Zolnikov, Tara Rava
More InformationShow full item record
Understanding the Social Effects of Water Intervention Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa A Qualitative Study in Kitui, Kenya.pdf (1.224Mb)
Global public health interventions focus on creating solutions to unaddressed humanitarian issues in developing countries; priority projects include providing communities with access to water, food, and healthcare. Nearby access to safe drinking water is a primary public health concern and a frequent public health intervention. Intervention success may depend on other factors in addition to health outcomes. However, previous research has focused solely on health effect outcomes and has not reviewed the impact of social effects from implemented water interventions. The purpose of this study was to understand the impacts of an implemented water intervention on social relationships among community members in Sub-Saharan Africa. A qualitative phenomenological approach with 52 semi-structured interviews was used to examine relationship experiences among primary water gatherers and their families after the implementation of water interventions in the community. This study took place throughout the historically semi-arid eastern region in Kitui, Kenya, where community members have been beneficiaries of various water interventions. Prior to the water intervention, family members experienced economic hardships, diminished community rapport, irregular meal times and food availability, infrequent family conversations, irritation with lack of bathing and cleanliness, and general discontent without the availability of one able-bodied family member. Participants’ experiences after implemented water interventions revealed enhanced relationships within household family units and within the community; additional personal time was gained and used to re-build relationships. The newly established relationships encouraged growth through family discussions and in conversations understanding and providing solutions to economic or individual challenges. This research provides evidence of an increased need for access to quality water for communities throughout the world in order to positively impact family relationships, which may ultimately contribute to the acceptance of the intervention. iv Clearly, the findings from this study are important to consider during the development phase of water interventions.