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If citizens protest, do water providers listen ? Water woes in a Tanzanian town

Volume : 30 issue : 2, page(s) : 613-630
Article first published online : February 19, 2018 ; Issue published : October 1, 2018
Kapongola Nganyanyuka
Javier Martinez
Juma Lungo
Yola Georgiadou

16 novembre 2020

Tanzania’s urban citizens are still insufficiently supplied with safe drinking water by their water utilities. However, instead of collectively clamouring for improvements, citizens channel their protests individually to water authorities. This paper aims to shed light on citizens’ protest strategies and the responses they elicit from the water authorities. It draws on extensive fieldwork carried out in a Tanzanian town, which revealed four protest strategies employed by citizens : “stay and speak up”, “speak up and leave”, “resignation” and “leave and remain silent.” The study reveals a substantial mismatch between citizens’ protest strategies and the formal/informal complaint mechanisms of the water authority. This has negative implications for underprivileged citizens and for broadly defined “access to water”.

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