Determinants of Gender Responsive Management of Water Resources and Projects in Kajiado County, Kenya.
Wakhungu, Gladys Nafula
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The purpose of the study was to analyze the determinants of Gender-responsive management of water projects and resources in Kajiado West Sub County, Kajiado County, Kenya. The objectives were: to establish the numbers of both men and women in the management of water projects in Kajiado West Sub County, to examine the influence of water needs for men and women on the management of water resources in Kajiado West Sub County, to determine the constraints faced by men and women in access to water resources in Kajiado West Sub County and to identify the best strategies that can help the inclusivity of genders in the management of water resources and projects in Kajiado West Sub County, Kajiado County, Kenya. The study was based on the Patriarchy Theory by Juliet Mitchell, 1975 which describes the totality of oppressive and exploitative relations that affect women. Also, the study was based on the Harvard Analytical Framework which underscores the inclusion of both genders in development projects as beneficiaries and actors. The study used a descriptive survey research design. This design was adopted because it describes things as they are without manipulation and facilitates data collection. The target population was all the residents of Kajiado West Sub County. The sample was made of 47 respondents from 5 villages. The study used two research instruments for data collection namely Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guides and interview schedules. The validity of the research instruments was determined by the researcher in collaboration with the supervisor to make sure that the instruments reflect the objectives. Instrument reliability was determined using the split-half method. The study has two types of data: Qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics for example percentages, means and standard deviations. The qualitative data was analyzed according to themes and patterns formed. The findings revealed that although women are represented in the management committees of the water projects, their number is much less compared to that of men. Men and women have different water needs. Men on one hand typically require water for productive activities and other related activities while women use water for productive activities as well as household chore related roles. The findings revealed that cultural customs and illiteracy in water resource management are among the major constraints facing men and women in the management of water resources. Also, poor access to water sources was cited as another problem men and women face. The study recommended that involving both women and men in integrated water resources initiatives can increase project effectiveness and efficiency. Hands-on support to community-level work is required to support field staff in enabling women and men to work together in community decision-making. Also, gender training of a very practical kind is needed focusing on the roles and responsibilities of project managers and their partner organizations, backed up with ongoing support through networks and exchanges.