Factors influencing sustainability of rural water supplies in Kenya: (Case of UNICEF supported rural water projects in Lake Victoria south and Lake Victoria north water services board regions)
Sustainability of community based and managed rural water supplies in Kenya remains a challenge. In spite of concerted efforts to transfer ownership of rural water supplies to beneficiary communities and increasing participation of the communities in the operation and maintenance of these facilities, more than a third of all rural water supplies fail within three years of development. The purpose of this research was to investigate the factors that moderate the effect of various community capacity development efforts to enhance sustainability of community based and managed rural water supplies in Kenya. Specifically, the effect of community participation, choice of technology, skills of water management committees and post implementation support on sustainability and sustainability outcomes were studied. The study contributes to our knowledge and understanding of factors contributing to the failure of community based rural water supplies and supports the sector to develop training packages and models for training communities and middle level trainers of trainers to improve sustainability of rural water supplies. The training packages benefit staff of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and other stakeholders to improve future sustainability of rural water supplies. A descriptive sample survey of 777WASH Committees and household representatives from259 rural water facilities in 3 districts- Kisumu and Siaya in Nyanza and Busia district in Western Province of Kenya were surveyed. A 10% sample using stratified random sampling was used to select respondents. Data was collected by the use of questionnaire method using two sets of questionnaires, one each of the water management committee members and the other for households. The questionnaires were pilot tested to determine suitability to both the committee members and households. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics including tables and correlation statistics. Every questionnaire was checked to ensure completeness and correctly filled. All questionnaires were coded so that all data can be analysed with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) computer programme.The results of the study contribute towards policy formulation and practice in the Water Sector and development of theory in approaches to enhancing sustainability in the rural water supply sector.