This research is to determine whether poor people are being excluded from piped water services at higher rates when served by privately operated services than they are when served by other provider types. It is also to understand what the barriers are for poor people in connecting to piped water services and to identify strategies that could support more poor people gaining access to piped water, and strategies that could reduce inequalities in piped water provision.
It is found that the poor were statistically less likely to be connected than non-poor in the absence of any support mechanisms (and sometimes even in their presence). Affordability was the main reason households were not connected to piped water supply – The service provider type (private enterprise or other service provider) was not the defining factor in influencing connection rates for the poor. Another finding is that there must be a strong focus on regulation and capacity building, rather than a limited focus on initial construction and investment. It also reveals that mechanisms to support poor households are needed.