Tensions in Rural Water Governance: The Elusive Functioning of Rural Water Points in Tanzania

J. Katomero, P.Y. Georgiadou, Juma Hemed Lungo, Robertus Hoppe

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Public water services are still failing rural Tanzanians. Emboldened by advances in information communication technologies, the Ministry of Water has been developing computing, financial and administrative technologies to update and visualise the status of rural water points. This amalgam of technologies marks the emergence of an information infrastructure for rural water governance. The information infrastructure will enable the ministry to “see” the functionality status of all rural water points and to plan and budget for their repair and maintenance. In this paper, we examine three administrative technologies, which aim to standardise the functionality status of water points, and to prescribe how the information flows within the government hierarchy, and who is a legitimate recipient of this information. We analyze qualitative data, collected over a period of four years, in the framework of an interdisciplinary research program, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research—Science for Global Development (NWO-Wotro). In contrast to other researchers who study how information infrastructure evolves over time, we study what infrastructure evolution reveals about water governance. Our analysis of the practices of participants in rural water governance reveals tensions between formal and informal processes, which affect rural water services negatively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number266
Number of pages18
JournalISPRS international journal of geo-information
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017



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