Jamaicans Shaneica Lester and Kevon Rhiney Produce Scholarly Paper on New Water Accessibility Index

Shaneica Lester and Dr. Kevon Rhiney are the authors of a recently published scholarly paper entitled “Going beyond basic access to improved water sources: Towards deriving a water accessibility index.”

The paper looks at how a new Water Accessibility Index (WAI) is used to determine differences in urban household water access in an inner-city community characterised by relatively high piped water coverage. The case study is based on field data collected in a low-income community called August Town, located in Jamaica's capital city of Kingston. A semi-formal survey was used to document how different socio-economic factors influenced household-level water accessibility within the study area.

Data from the survey was later used to develop the WAI. The index revealed the importance of incorporating socio-economic and human-centred factors in the measurement of water accessibility, especially when access to improved drinking water sources is already gained. When used on its own, piped water coverage was found to be an inadequate indicator of water accessibility within the study area. In general, the WAI is being regarded as a useful management tool for tracking household-level and inter-community disparities, which could contribute greatly in facilitating improvements in water access where it is needed the most. Download the Paper here.

A Bit About the Authors

Shaneica Lester is a Ph.D. researcher at the Department of Geography and Geology at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. Her research is concentrated on urban vulnerability and water security.

Dr. Kevon Rhiney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University, USA and Visiting Fellow in the Department of Geography and Geology at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus in Jamaica.            Dr. Rhiney is also a current Steering Committee member of the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C).