Household water security in different settlement categories of Ngamiland district, Botswana
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Globally, water security is under severe pressure as a result of a complex interplay of factors that include hydrological conditions, rapid population growth, rural-urban migration, increased per-capita water use, pollution of water resources, over-abstraction of groundwater, climate change and climate variability. Households in different settlement categories of Ngamiland, Botswana, experience water insecurity. There have not been many studies in Ngamiland which focus on water security in all the different settlement categories as done by this study. The study advances knowledge on water security in different settlement categories of Ngamiland, factors affecting water security, household coping and adaptation strategies, gender and social dimensions of household water security and the impact of water governance on household water security. The general objective of the study was to explore and understand household water security in different settlement categories of Ngamiland. The specific objectives of the study were: i) to explore and analyse household water security challenges in different settlement categories of Ngamiland; ii) to analyse factors contributing to water security challenges and threats in different settlement categories of the Ngamiland; iii) to analyse the coping and adaptation strategies to water insecurity by households in different settlement categories of Ngamiland; iv) to analyse gender and other social dimensions of household water insecurity in Ngamiland; v) to analyse water governance and household water security in Botswana. The concepts of security, water security, human security, water governance as well as the integrated water resource management approach and the actor-oriented approach were used in the analysis of household water security in different settlement categories of Ngamiland. The study was non-interventional, analytical and undertaken through the collection of qualitative data, water quality data and quantitative data which was collected through a cross-sectional survey of 554 households in eight villages. Secondary data sources supplemented primary data. The results show that there is household water insecurity across the different settlement categories (that is, primary, tertiary and ungazetted) of Ngamiland. Gazetted settlements frequently go for prolonged periods of time without receiving water supply services which they are entitled to. Micro-biological tests show that the water from across the different settlement categories is not suitable for drinking as it contains some micro-biological counts. Several factors contribute to water insecurity in different settlement categories of Ngamiland. These include Botswana’s settlement policy, climatic, hydrological, technical, socioeconomic and financial factors. When households from different settlement categories face water insecurity, they are not passive actors but actively devise coping or adaptation strategies aimed at ensuring household water availability. Household water insecurity has gender and other social dimensions. Women and girls physically bear the brunt of water insecurity through spending prolonged periods of time fetching water which they carry in containers loaded on their heads. Other social dimensions of water insecurity in households include the use of various assets (for example, small containers which can be head-loaded, donkey-drawn carts, or light vehicles), rainwater harvesting, personal hygiene and the interpersonal politics of fetching water from neighbours’ standpipes. Water security in Botswana is negatively affected by the fact that the country still uses a legal framework which does not capture current water governance principles such as IWRM which are aimed at enhancing water security. Water insecurity in different settlements has to be addressed through policy interventions and strategies (i.e. short, medium and long term) which need to be underpinned by scientific research. The state has to adopt more effective planned intervention policies aimed at enhancing household water security in different settlement categories. Botswana has to come up with water legislation and a policy framework which reflects the current operating environment as well as current water governance approaches to enhance household water security.
- PhD Theses (ORI)