Water Access for Sustainable Rural Development Under Devolved Government System in Kakamega County
This research project is on the provision of water for rural sustainable development under the devolved government system in Kakamega County. It investigates the theoretical and practical linkages between devolved governance system and water access for rural sustainable development. The study is grounded on institutional theory that contends the use of institutions for efficiency in service delivery, that productivity and efficiency are the core premises that define the role of formal institutions. Three objectives were set, namely to; describe the devolved government system for water services in Kakamega County, analyze the devolved government policy on water access and examine the devolved government initiatives geared towards sustainable water access for human development. The study took place in Shitochi and Ikuywa sub-locations. Shitochi sub-location is found in Isukha South Ward while Ikuywa is in Isukha East both of which are in Shinyalu Constituency. The study employed a combination of qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The qualitative method involved the use of interview guides administered to 17 key informants and 2 Focus Group Discussions consisting of 10 respondents from each of the sub-locations. The quantitative method administered questionnaires to 40 households in Shitochi and 35 in Ikuywa respectively, which were purposively selected. The findings of this research project show that there are theoretical and practical linkages between devolved governance system and water access for rural sustainable development. Effective institutional framework should be accompanied by qualified human resource expertise. Secondly, the policy framework on water access in Shitochi and Ikuywa sub-locations is a combination of both national and county governments policies. However, the study established that at the county level the development of policies is still at the nascent stage to suit the prevailing dynamics. Finally, there are multiple stakeholders such as the National and County governments, NGOs and individuals involved in the provision of water to rural households. However, most of the efforts are made by the individual homesteads. The study makes the following recommendations; improve coordination among the various stakeholders; clarify the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, hasten the development of homegrown policies, a comparative study of the impact of devolution on water accessibility in federal states.
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