Community Capacity Development and Sustainability of County Government-Funded Water Projects in Makueni County, Kenya
Mulei, Benson M.
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The research project aimed to study community capacity development's influence on project sustainability in Kilome Sub-County, Makueni County, Kenya. People in the county walk approximately eight kilometers to access water compared to the WHO recommended one kilometer. Though most development agencies have developed tools and techniques to track project implementation and meet its key constraints, few organizations produce periodic assessment reports on the operation, maintenance, and on whether projects are essentially generating the anticipated benefits. In Kenya, twenty-five to thirty percent of community-managed water projects will be non-operational in the first three years after completion. The research project focused on investment in community capacity and community organizing parameters of community capacity development to determine their influence on water projects' overall sustainability in the county. The research project used stakeholders’ and resource dependency theories to provide background on the application of community capacity development in project management to ensure project sustainability. The research project employed probability and a clustersampling technique to divide the subcounty into geographical clusters called sub wards and randomly collected data from the respondents in the clusters. The research project targeted a sample population of a hundred and fourteen PMCs and five project staff of the respective projects. The research project used a single designed tool to collect qualitative and quantitative research data for each specific project. Descriptive analysis design was used to analyze data into quantifiable information from the sample and reporting on the results of the research project. The study findings found that investment in community capacity and community organizing parameters of community capacity development had a direct relationship with the sustainability of Makueni County Government-funded water projects. The results showed a significant positive relationship between community capacity development parameters and project sustainability with a significance value of 0.000, p<0.05. The parameters influenced project sustainability by 55.7%, with a standard error estimate of 0.4313. Investment in community capacity influenced project sustainability by 0.375, while community organizing by 0.499. The study recommends that development agencies establish new or strengthen the existing water user groups and strengthen the skills of the community in project management. The agencies should also involve community VMGs, community member experts, and partner/support with local institutions to enhance project performance in the long run. That will ensure the continuity of the project into the future, way after the donor exit.