Water journeys: accessing safe drinking water in Tanzania
This studentship is funded by the ESRC through the Scottish Graduate School of the Social Sciences
Access to clean water is a basic human right; however, worldwide over 700 million people still lack access to a safe, reliable and sustainable supply of water. Target 6.1 of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) highlights the need to, ‘achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all’ by 2030. Global figures show gradual improvements in people’s access to safe water, however, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has lagged behind other regions. In Tanzania, only 50% of the population had access to basic water services in 2015 and there are still large spatial disparities in accessing clean water, with residents of rural areas and low-income urban areas being under-served compared to other residents. Consequently, there is a substantial disconnect between large-scale water access monitoring that occurs within the SDG framework and the reality of people’s everyday access to water in rural and low-income urban areas. This PhD will take an individual-centric approach to water access, by exploring the everyday realities of people (mainly women and children) accessing drinking water in Tanzania and connecting decision makers to these experiences by exploring ways to make SDG6.1 a reality by 2030 in Tanzania.
The overarching aim of this project is to critically explore both current and future spatio-temporal patterns of community access to safe drinking water in rural and urban low-income communities of Tanzania.
The specific objectives are to:
- Use observation techniques, filmed walking interviews and creative methods in order to understand people’s experiences of accessing water over space and time;
- Quantify the spatio-temporal changes in people’s water quality by analysing microbial contamination in household water samples;
- Utilise participatory workshops with key stakeholders to predict future spatially-refined water access in rural and low-income urban Tanzania.
About the institution
- A good first degree (at least 2:1), preferably with a geography/ social science component
- Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of, water access in the developing world context
- Be willing to undertake fieldwork in Tanzania during two or three fieldwork campaigns
- A good grounding in experimental methods in geography/ social science, skills and experience in analysing qualitative and quantitative (including spatial) data, communication skills and a passion for interdisciplinary research.
Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria.
- an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2018/19 rate £14,777 full-time)
- fees at the standard Home rate
- students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year
How to apply
- Applicants register on GradHub and fill out EO data
- Applicants download and complete the Word-based application form
- Applicants complete the GradHub application form and upload the prescribed list of required documentation to include:
- Application form
- Academic transcripts