Project planning and sustainability of water projects in Machakos County, Kenya
Nzomo, Patricia Goretti Ndinda
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The concept of water scarcity is a common event especial in ASAL regions across the globe hence the need for emphasis on sustainability of water projects to continue supplying water for usage at the residential and commercial place. Many of the water projects within Machakos County that were started, funded and supported by international agencies as well as Constituency Development Fund (CDF) failed to deliver water over a prolonged time with six out of ten becoming dysfunctional within three years of operations. Sustenance of projects is important hence this study considered project planning. The general study objective was to investigate the effect of project planning and water projects sustainability within Machakos County in Kenya. The variables included: to assess the extent of stakeholders’ participation, influence of technology choice, the extent of project funding, and the influence of management skills held by the water committee members on sustainable management of water projects in Machakos County in Kenya. The study was guided by participatory theory, theory of change, four-capital model theory and resource-based view (RBV) theory. The study adopted a descriptive research design and targeted project managers, water committee members and community elders as part of the project beneficiaries from the three completed water projects in Mavoko Constituency. The population was grouped in strata as per their role hence employing stratified sampling technique and simple random sampling was applied in selecting the respondents who took part in the study. The researcher collected primary data with the use of questionnaires that were piloted tested to confirm they will valid and reliable data measured by Cronbach Alpha test. The quantitative data collected was entered into SPSS thereafter descriptive analysis was done where frequency, percentages, means and standard deviation were obtained and inferential statistics was conducted in terms of multiple regression and correlation analysis. The researcher also conducted diagnostic tests of autocorrelation, normality test and multicollinearity. The results of the study showed that the r values ranged from 0.6-0.8 an indication that project planning greatly influenced water projects sustainability. Stakeholder participation had the highest r values showing it had the biggest influence on water projects sustainability; this was followed by project funding, management skills and technology choice. The findings also showed that 60.4% of sustainability of the water projects in Mavoko Constituency in Machakos County is due to project planning. The p-values obtained were all positive and less than 0.05, revealing that all elements of project planning had significant effect on water project sustainability. The results also showed that stakeholder participation covered inclusivity in decision making, community members doing repairs, cost-sharing and monitoring the water projects. The technology choice element included ICT for communications, water and pumping technologies and modern and innovative technologies that improve sustainability of water projects. Further results indicate that project funding with elements like fundraising, donor funding, CDF funds and proper budgeting led to sustainability of water projects and management skills such as technical skills, resource handling skills, project management skills helped in better sustenance of the projects. The study concluded that project planning and its elements influenced sustainability of the water projects in Mavoko – Machakos County. The study thus recommends that other projects in Machakos County seeking to sustain their operations to adopt project planning and its elements.