The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa

Citation:

Bulled, Nicola. 2016. “The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 31 (1): 133–54.

Author: Nicola Bulled

Abstract:

The South African constitution ratifies water as a human right. Yet millions of citizens remain disconnected from the national water infrastructure. Drawing on data collected in 2013-2014 from women in northern South Africa, this study explores "water citizenship"-individual civic engagement related to improving water service provision. Literature indicates that water insecurity is associated with emotional distress and that water-related emotional distress influences citizen engagement. I extend these lines of research by assessing the connection that water insecurity and emotional distress may collectively have with civic engagement to improve access to water infrastructure.

Keywords: South Africa, citizenship, emotional distress, rural poor, water insecurity

Topics: Citizenship, Development, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

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