The Poor and Differential Access to Water in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


Large numbers of people, especially in the poor urban areas of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have experienced problems of access to reliable and adequate potable water. This paper focuses on issues of equity, particularly access to safe and clean water in the poor areas of Addis Ababa. This paper is based on the results of a survey conducted in Addis Ababa in 2010. The key objective of the study was to assess access to water of the poor. The study covered water use; consumption patterns; availability and reliability of water; gender; income; monthly water expenditure and time taken to fetch water from existing sources. The results indicated that more than 60 % of the sample households use more than 20 l per person per day. Most households pay a relatively high price for drinking water. In the main poor households rely on water vendors for their water. We argue that the poor in Addis Ababa have differential access to water which is inherently discriminatory.


Water Supply Water Service Urban Poor Tariff Rate Sample Household 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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