Assessment of Stakeholder Participation in Water Resources Management in Machakos Sub-County, Machakos County, Kenya
Stakeholder participation has been shown to be an effective approach in increasing access to safe water and sanitation in many parts of the world. This study investigated stakeholder participation in management of water resources in Machakos Sub-County of Machakos County, Kenya. Specifically, it sought to assess the level of community participation in water resources management, collaboration between stakeholders, stakeholder contribution in increasing access to reliable water resources and the challenges facing the participatory approach of water resources management in the Sub-County. The research design used was a descriptive survey. The sampling techniques entailed simple random sampling and purposive sampling. The research tools comprised household questionnaires, interview schedules, observation record sheets and photography. A total of 217 households were selected through simple random sampling technique. The data were analyzed statistically and findings presented using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study revealed that the key stakeholders in water resources management in the Sub- County were; WRMA, NEMA, CAAC, Tana- Athi WSB, SHGs, MWSCO, WRUAs, TARDA and private water service providers. The results of the study showed that the mean quantity of water available for domestic use from household constructed sources was significantly lower than the recommended BWR of 50 litres/ person/ day ( x =29.61 litres/ person/ day, σ=19.41, p 0.05, n= 217, df=2). Further, most of the household heads participated in community water resources management activities despite not belonging to community- based water associations(x2= 4.564, p= 0.205, n= 217,df= 3). The study also found that there was a significant relationship between training in water resources management and the impact one made in water resources management activities (r= 0.427, p= 0.001, n= 217, df= 1). Those who were trained made a greater impact. The study also established that there was a significant association between the level of awareness among household heads and their collaboration with water resource management institutions in the Sub-County (x2= 46.270, p= 0.001, n= 217, df= 2). Community participation through SHGs and WRUAs has a big potential in increasing access to reliable water resources in the Sub-County. The water supply projects initiated by the identified SHGs resulted to a high daily per capita water availability ( x = 37.85 litres, σ=8.807, p≤ 0.05, df=20). Although most of the WRUAs were in the formative stages, one (Itetani) had implemented water supply projects that raised the daily per capita water availability for people in its sub-catchment area ( x =37.09, p˂ 0.05, σ=4.13, df=10, n=11). Other stakeholder institutions which worked with communities and led to an increase in water availability were SCWO, MWSCO and WRMA. The main challenge facing the stakeholders was financial constraint. The results of this study show that for participatory water resources management to take root in Machakos Sub-County, various issues need to be addressed such as; strengthening community-based water SHGs financially and technically, WRMA to fast track capacity-building and SCMP development for WRUAs in the Sub-County, mainstreaming the private water service providers, integration of stakeholders with conflicting roles and awareness creation among the key stakeholders.