Informal water vendors and the urban poor
While large private water companies grab the headlines, it is more often small private vendors that bring water to the urban poor in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This working paper looks at how water-vending systems operate, how effective they are in meeting the needs of the urban poor, and how this effectiveness might be improved. The paper concentrates on the small-scale and informal vendors, most of whom work independently with very little capital. Nevertheless, they display enormous diversity and flexibility, and are adept at responding to the needs of all but the very poorest households.