One of the key challenges to the developing countries is increasing access to safe water supply to the rapidly growing urban population, consequently, billions of dollars have been invested in pursuit of the goal of “universal service” and yet the realization of that goal is still elusive. Based on cross sectional survey and purposive sampling of 367 households, this paper examines the level of accessibility to privatized water services in Kisumu Municipality. The Kenyan study shows that the proportion of households with access to piped water supply within a distance of 200 m is 77.1%, only 65.6% of the basic water requirements of the residents are met and that only 25% of the households access the minimum recommended 50 l/c/d. The low income households and low levels of investment in water infrastructure are related to reduced access to water services. Expanded access to safe water services may only be realized if upfront investment is made on rehabilitation and extension of existing water network in addition to upgrading of treatment plant, thus reducing the cost of maintenance and unaccounted for water and making better use of economies of scale. New water ethics and demand-based service delivery should also be adopted for better management and services.
Key words: Accessibility, water services, household income, Kisumu, Kenya.
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