Assessment of customer satisfaction with piped water supply services in Uganda : a case of Nakifuma Town in Mukono District
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There has been an increasing need to assess the level of customer satisfaction with piped water supply systems in Uganda. This would position the sector in ensuring that everyone has access to piped water supply in all the urban and rural areas including large towns, small towns and rural growth centres. This dissertation presents an assessment of customer satisfaction with piped water supply services in Nakifuma Town, Mukono District. It particularly focuses on four key dimensions of; perceived water quality, acceptability of piped water services, accessibility to the piped water supply system and affordability of the piped water supply services. The study was based on a survey questionnaire for customers of Nakifuma Water Supply System and interviews conducted with the political leadership and technical staff supervising the piped water supply system. The survey results were analyzed based on 305 questionnaires out of a target sample of 380 from seven different cells of Nankulabye, Bubiiro, Nenyodde, Nakifuma East, Kizungu, Nakifuma West and Kaama within Nakifuma Town, Mukono District. In addition, 18 key respondents provided in-depth data out of qualitative interviews. Data analysis was done with the help of SPSS 16 as well as MS Excel to analyze for frequencies and percentages on the side of quantitative data. On the other hand, qualitative data were analyzed based on grouped opinions from different respondents. The results showed that the customers were satisfied with all the four key dimensions where; perceived water quality was rated at 91.9%, acceptability at 93.6%, accessibility at 82.4% and affordability at 77.4%. The overall customer satisfaction level was rated as very good with a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) of 83.8% in respect to the four dimensions of; perceived water quality, acceptability, accessibility and affordability. The results indicated that much as 72.6% of customers have their monthly water bills in proportion with their monthly incomes, only 57.1% of the customers can afford the water current tariff of 3,400/= per 1m3. It is therefore recommended that; the current management system be financed to be able to subsidize piped water services and have improved access to piped water services in the area. The study found out that there are many areas without piped water services including Nakiwatte and others with minimal customer connections and connecting them to piped water would be a good starting point in ensuring that the utility is supported financially to ensure that there is improved access to piped water services in the area. The study further makes recommendations for further research to be done specifically on; effectiveness of delivery of piped water services and its impact on the performance of public water utility, influence of good piped water services delivery to the performance of public water utilities in small towns and rural growth centres, relationship between different variables that determine customer satisfaction with piped water supply services, as well as possible financing options for subsidized piped water supply services in urban and rural areas.
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