An assessment of social consequences of using water management devices on the poor households in Harare. The case of Sunningdale high density suburb prepaid water meter project in Harare.
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A prepaid water metering project was implemented in various high density suburbs around the city of Harare in 2015 with the intention of spreading the project throughout the whole country. It was anticipated that the use of prepaid water meters as a water management device would improve the social, health, hygiene and general well-being of the poor households in the Sunningdale high density suburb. This study will investigate the social implications that were caused by the use of prepaid water meters as a tool for water management among poor households in this high density suburbs. The impact of prepaid water meter technology has been felt by water consumers in Sunningdale who have shared their experiences and attitudes towards this recently introduced innovation in water service delivery within Harare high density suburbs. The study examines the implications of using prepaid water meters as a water conservation measure and considers the behaviour, health and hygiene as well as home-based livelihoods of low-income water users. This study also provides answers for the premature abandonment of the expansion of the prepaid water meter project into other surrounding cities in Zimbabwe.