Customers’ perception of the quality of water supply services in two suburbs of Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania.

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Date
2018
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
The frameworks in water sector have strived to improve urban centres where water services have long been experiencing exacerbated supply system. Regular exacerbation in Dar es Salaam has always been directly linked to high demand due to population density, leakages, unauthorised connections and usage and ineffective billing system. Even though various efforts have been put by the public utility to provide the required potable water, the quality of water supply services remains an enduring riddle to satisfy customers in the City. The problem related to the quality of water supply services is neither well understood nor adequately addressed to improve the quality of water supply services. This study therefore assessed customers’ perception of the quality of water supply services in two Dar es Salaam municipalities of Ubungo and Kinondoni. The study adapted the Service Quality (SERVQUAL) model and sets to include the information about the influence of core and supplementary factors on the quality of water supply services; the perceived gaps on supplementary factors; the relationship between supplementary factors and customers’ satisfaction; and it allows the establishment of a better framework for improving the quality of water supply services and ultimately customers’ satisfaction. Core factors involve adequacy quantity, water quality, accessibility, continuity, and affordability. These factors concerns with experience of water users that may affect the basic requirements while, the later refers to factors relating to customers’ interaction with service provider. They include reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. The study was designed to employ both qualitative and quantitative research approaches that were covered with case study strategy. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were used to obtain a total of 136 respondents from two case studies of Msewe and Changanyikeni suburbs, respectively. Data were collected through interview method, based on structured and unstructured techniques, include: questionnaires, key informant interviews and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Then, data were presented in terms of pie charts, graphs and tables. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows version 24.0, content analysis technique, and MS Excel tool were carried out to analyse the obtained data. The findings of the study reveal that both core and supplementary factors have influence on the quality of water supply services. It was evident that affordability factor has significant impact on the quality of water supply services in Msewe suburb (t = 4.94; Sig .000). On the other hand, water quality, (t = 4.16; Sig .000), accessibility (t = 2.14; Sig .04), and continuity factors (t = 2.24; Sig .04) have shown an ability to predict the quality of water supply services in Changanyikeni suburb. It was further indicated that perceived service quality gaps for almost all scores were negative in both cases (-2.35 for Msewe and -3.28 for Changanyikeni, respectively). This is a sign of a shortfall in meeting customers’ expectations across all five supplementary factors, hence dissatisfaction with quality of water supply services. It was evident that assurance factor had the widest average gap of -2.71 in Msewe and -3.45 in Changanyikeni localities. This provides insights that Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation (DAWASCO) employees are short of kindness, politeness and ability to respect, instil confidence, and inspire trust among its customers. Conversely, reliability emerged the utmost important factor as it scored the highest weighted gap score of -87.78 for Msewe and -114.14 for Changanyikeni, respectively. Overall, it was evident that supplementary factors have a positive relationship with customers satisfaction (the results of a Pearson correlation test are .439** for Msewe and .547** for Changanyikeni, respectively), and highly associated with each other (.3< │r│> 5). The findings imply that DAWASCO should continue improving the quality of water supply services by concentrating more on reliability factor. The study recommends that this public utility adopt the established framework and provide the required service that meets customers’ expectations. This will improve the quality of water supply services and ultimately customers’ satisfaction.
Description
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF TD370.T34B33)
Keywords
Water quality, Water supply services, Domestic use, Changanyikeni, Msewe, Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania
Citation
Bahemana, P. C. (2018). Customers’ perception of the quality of water supply services in two suburbs of Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.