Understanding the challenges governing Malawi’s water, sanitation and hygiene sector

Emmanuel M. Akpabio (Lead / Corresponding author), Evance Mwathunga, John S. Rowan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper explores the extent to which Malawi’s national water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) sector programmes align with the lived realities of Malawian people through interviews, observations and a review of secondary documents. Significant progress is unquestionably being made, but there are dangers in momentary achievements being romanticized, and under-capacity in shaping cultural practices, investing and maintaining longevity and sustainability of available infrastructures. We argue that managing the sector towards statistical summaries serves to confound well-intentioned governance frameworks and compliance regimes ultimately leaving behind a large proportion of the population without access to basic drinking water or improved sanitation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages22
    JournalInternational Journal of Water Resources Development
    Early online date14 Apr 2021
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Apr 2021


    • access inequality
    • Malawi
    • MDGs/SDGs
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • WaSH


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