Dorothée Charlier (Université Savoie Mont-Blanc, LIRIS) – Utility Services Poverty : Addressing the Problem of Household Deprivation in Mayotte

Among the 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to eradicate poverty are ensuring (i) “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation” and (ii) access to modern energy sources. One problem for Mahorais households is access to safe, clean and affordable essential utility services, such as electricity, water and sewerage. We define a new concept of utility services poverty (basic utility services deprivation) based on the theoretical capabilities framework of Sen and Nussbaum. Using a latent class model to evaluate utility services poverty in Mayotte Island, we identify households that are poor in utility services and characterize four household profiles on a scale of vulnerability/poverty. We demonstrate that access to water is more discriminatory than access to electricity in Mayotte. The top priority in fighting utility services poverty should be access to water and sanitary facilities. We show that utility services poverty and income poverty are distinct phenomena. Public policies that aim to support only the income poor do not solve the problems of access to utility services in Mayotte. Policies should be implemented not according to income but to facilitate water and energy access and improve basic hygiene conditions.

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