Year of publication
- 2010 (2) (remove)
- Participatory empirical research on water and sanitation demand in central northern Namibia: a method for technology development with a user perspective (2010)
- Improvements in water infrastructure in developing countries are of major importance for achieving access to clean water. CuveWaters, a research based IWRM project, currently underway in Namibia, is testing different technical options to de-centralise water supply and upgrade sanitation. The Cuvelai Basin is affected by highly variable precipitation, mostly saline groundwater and a lack of perennial rivers. Water management is characterised by strong dependency on a water pipeline. Finding ways to improve the situation calls for a good grasp of the local situation regarding water utilisation patterns. Technologically sophisticated concepts can easily clash with users’ socio-cultural needs and everyday behaviour as well as their understanding of planning and maintenance. A demand-responsive approach has therefore been developed. It combines a qualitative socio-empirical perspective with participatory planning. This paper discusses method development, empirical application and results. The approaches aim is to support mutual learning as a basis for a sustainable change process.