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Social networks and other forgotten components of the WaSH enabling environment in Fiji

Love, Mark and Beal, C. and Pene, Sarah and Rarokolutu, Rt. T. and Whippy, Albert and Taivoce, S. and Shrestha, S. and Souter, R.T. (2023) Social networks and other forgotten components of the WaSH enabling environment in Fiji. Water Policy, 25 (1). pp. 38-58. ISSN 1366-7017

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Abstract

Pacific Island countries have among the lowest access to improved drinking water sources and sanitation services in the world. Due to geography, climate, the high frequency, and severity of disasters, transportation difficulties and resource constraints, government and private sector support to rural populations are limited and likely to remain so. However, the unique demographic characteristics of the region see considerable support flowing to rural areas from village kin in urban centres and overseas, hinged on strong socio-cultural norms of reciprocity, self-help, and obligation. Focusing on Fiji, this paper examines how select social networks are being used to support improved rural water and sanitation outcomes. Results demonstrate that kinship-orientated urban–rural linkages, select customary norms, relations and practices, common interest associations (such as village development committees), and select social media groups, all constitute critical components of the WaSH enabling environment in Fiji. Given the unique character of the Pacific Islands region, leveraging existing social networks to support improved rural water and sanitation outcomes may constitute a fruitful community water management ‘plus’ strategy for both governments and non-government organisations seeking to strengthen rural water and sanitation service outcomes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Divisions: School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Ocean and Natural Sciences (SAGEONS)
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 20:49
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 20:49
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/14261
UNSPECIFIED

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