The impact of public private partnerships on the delivery of water service in Botswana: the case of Lobatse Management Centre
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Effective provision of water services in Botswana, especially in villages and rural areas remains a challenge to water authorities. The implementation of Water Sector Reforms (WSR) in 2009 has not yielded any improvements to the supply and distribution of water at the LMC as evidenced by recurring and prolonged water shortage in villages and rural areas. This study assesses the applicability of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) on the water sector in the Lobatse Management Centre (LMC) area which is part of the 15 water management centres. The research objectives are to: assess the performance of water supply and service delivery in the LMC; to identify factors that support or impede the implementation of PPPs in the LMC; to find out what can be done to improve service delivery in the LMC as well as to recommend a suitable PPP model/ option for implementation in the LMC. The research was undertaken using the Grounded Theory method within the interpretivism paradigm, which was found to be most suitable for conducting research where there is an absence of theory to explain or support the state of events evidenced at the LMC prior to the commencement of the study. A total of eleven interviews were conducted with six in-depth interviews and five focus groups, all from the WUC. The research revealed a downward trend in delivery of water services. The study also revealed that the infrastructure inherited by the WUC from the previous water authorities is obsolete and as such requires rehabilitation. The demand for private sector participation in the delivery of water service was also ascertained. Other findings show that the administrative and business processes used by the WUC are outdated. The Operations Support Contracts (OSC) model generated by the study is rooted in the findings of the study. The WUC under the OSC remains the mam provider of the service, while a PrivateCo is contracted to carry out a discreet task within the water sector.
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