The original research and fieldwork for this article were carried out for a project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Thanks are due to Terry McKinley, Michael Soko and other staff of the UNDP Zambia office. The resources provided by Oswald Chanda, Kasonge Lumba and Kelvin Chitumbo of the National Water and Sanitation Council are greatly appreciated. I am also grateful to Kate Bayliss, Ben Fine, Keith Salmon and two anonymous referees who provided extensive comments on early drafts.
Waiting for Miracles: The Commercialization of Urban Water Services in Zambia
Article first published online: 21 APR 2008
©Institute of Social Studies 2008
Development and Change
Volume 39, Issue 1, pages 101–121, January 2008
How to Cite
Dagdeviren, H. (2008), Waiting for Miracles: The Commercialization of Urban Water Services in Zambia. Development and Change, 39: 101–121. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2008.00470.x
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2008
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2008
This article focuses on the commercialization of urban water services in Zambia. It aims to demonstrate the tension between cost recovery and service extension when water sector reforms combine investment cuts with price increases. It is argued that in low-income economies where infrastructure limitations are serious and poverty is widespread, heavy reliance on ‘tariff rationalization’ with low levels of investment can lead to reduced access to water and render water charges unaffordable. Reforms to public services can prove futile in the absence of upfront resources for investment in the restoration and extension of the existing infrastructure. In many ways, Zambia typifies other low-income economies; this study thus offers useful lessons for them.