Factors Affecting Project Sustainability of Community Managed Water Supplies in Laikipia East Sub-County, Laikipia County, Kenya
Mustafa, Parkolwa Henry
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Kenya with support from multilateral and bilateral financing agencies has implemented many rural water projects to address the pressing need of water supply and improve on local sanitation conditions. Many rural projects fail to deliver the goods and services as planned and operational costs increase exponentially making them unsustainable to run. The main objective of the research was to establish the factors affecting project sustainability of community managed water supplies with the aim of making proper recommendations for improving their sustainability especially in a rural setting of Laikipia East Sub-County. Three theories were used to underpin the study. These theories were Resource Dependency Theory, Ecological Modernization Theory and Community Participation Theory. A descriptive survey design was used. Studied population comprised members of household water consumers, executive committee members and key informants. The respondents were reached through household survey and purposive identification of the subject matter or key government officials from relevant local institutions. The population size for the study was 12,162 persons out of which a sample size of 419 respondents were selected for the interview that comprised of 387 household water consumers, 30 CBO’s committee members and 2 key informants. The research used both probability and non-probability sampling techniques. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires administered to the interviewees. In analysing data, descriptive statistics were used that were generated from statistical package for social sciences version 21.0 and were expressed in percent, averages, frequencies and standard deviations and displayed by use of graphs, bar and pie charts and in prose-form. Qualitative data was collected using open ended questionnaires and subjected to content analysis. In addition, multiple regression model was used to establish the contribution of the regressors to the dependent variable and measured the extent to which the independent variables affect the dependent variable. The research revealed that good community participation ensured that those with vested interest, or are impacted by any action, are given chance to contribute to shape up the outcome, while sustainable community managed water supplies should have sound financial base, management skills was fundamental in ensuring sustainability of community managed water supplies and that interaction with government officers determines the effectiveness of project future sustainability. In conclusion, the research found out that community participation, availability of reliable project financing, management skills, government policy and community training enhanced sustainability of community managed water supplies. In order to ensure sustainability of community managed water supplies, all stakeholders (especially the local beneficiaries) should be included in all assessment and pre-planning activities as well as planning and implementation, the management of such projects should periodically organize training sessions for the project management team and the local communities. The management of community managed water supplies in Laikipia should fully engage government officers right from conception, design and implementation of the water projects as lack of policy compliance was found vital in ensuring sustainability of community managed water supplies, the management of community managed water supplies in Laikipia should mobilise all the stakeholders especially those providing financial assistance to ensure that the project has reliable financial base.