Participation as a human right is key to solving water problems in Tonga : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University,

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Massey University
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The aim of this study was to identity the equity issues that hinder the participation of the people in the management and the maintenance of the rural water systems in Tonga. Five villages in Tongatapu were selected for the study as well as the appropriate Tongan Government Departments and donors. Participatory observation and interviews were techniques used for collecting information from the participants. Published and unpublished materials on water and other related materials were referred to in this study as well. Despite the need for water supply systems in rural areas of Tonga and the increasing demands for water, it was found that many systems, which were delivered in a very top-down manner, were not working effectively. The major finding was that economic, social and political structures in Tonga impeded the participation of grassroots people in the management of water systems. Although modern technologies are being introduced to solve water problems in Tonga, their successes are partial. Previous studies that were carried out in Tonga in trying to find ways of solving water management problems in Tonga also have had partial successes. This study concludes that unless participation is considered a human right, water management problems in Tonga can not be solved.
Tongatapu, Tonga, Rural water-supply, Tonga, Water resource development, Tonga, Water, Tonga