Three quarters of the DRC's population lack access to clean drinking water. Alongside disease, the burden of collecting water from distant government-run taps often falls to children and women. When these taps fail in the city of Goma, households can be forced to turn to expensive ‘water-truck mafias’, untreated collected rain water or to leverage nearby Lake Kivu.
In early 2018, Mercy Corps DRC representatives approached LSE CPAID researcher Dr Pat Stys to conduct research on an ongoing WASH programme which has built new water taps in Goma. With a team of international and local researchers, Pat uses a mixture of social network research and financial diaries to study whether the taps have changed the lives of people living in 28 households in some of the city’s lower socio-economic neighbourhoods.