Urban Water Services in Oromia Regional States: An Analysis of Drinking Water Sources and Quality in Bedelle, Gechi, and Dabe, Dega

Abraham Ochocho


Establishing and maintaining public water services in Oromia Regional states is a significant development challenge. In expectation of water infrastructure investments, this study compares drinking water sources and quality between Bedelle, Gechi, and Dabe, Dega, two towns recovering from political and economic instability. In both towns, access to piped water is low, and residents rely on a range of other private and public water sources. In Bedelle, geographic points for sampling were randomly selected and stratified by population density, whereas in Gechi, locations for sampling were selected from a current inventory of public water sources. In Bedelle, the sampling frame demonstrated extensive reliance on private boreholes and a preference, in both planned and unplanned settlements, for drinking bottled and sachet water. In Gechi, sample collection focused on public sources (predominantly shallow dug wells). In Bedelle, fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) were detected in 25% of sources (N = 566), though concentrations were low. In Gechi, 57% of sources contained FIB and 22% of sources had nitrate levels that exceeded standards (N = 204). In Gechi, the convenience of piped water may promote acceptance of the associated water tariffs. However, in Bedelle, the high prevalence of self-supply and bottled and sachet drinking water suggests that the consumer's willingness to pay for ongoing municipal water supply improvements may be determined by service reliability and perceptions of water quality.

Keywords: Analysis of Drinking Water Sources, Quality, Services

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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