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The commercialisation of water services in Kisumu, Kenya has resulted in fewer managerial changes than had been anticipated. Challenges include perceived political interference, inequitable treatment of different groups of residents, and little inter-agency coordination. A survey was conducted, focusing on the informal settlements, to help understand the root cause of the management flaws. It revealed: six different water supply routes; that 47 per cent of the residents’ source water came from kiosks; that women’s numerical strength is insignificant in management; and mitigation of cartel problems and disputes by non-water-associated personnel. The present article suggests an integrative managerial management structure where the community takes the lead.

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