Factors Influencing Sustainability Of Piped Water Supply In Rural Communities In Kenya: A Case Of Likuyani Sub County, Kakamega County.
This study sought to assess factors that influence sustainability of Piped water supply systems in Likuyani Sub County, Kakamega County. Despite heavy investment in water supply infrastructure, piped water supply schemes sustainability remains a challenge to communities in the rural areas as most water supplies fail or stall within a few years of development owing to several factors. This study sought to address the following objectives: to examine how management approaches influenced sustainability of the water projects in the Sub County, to determine the effect of community participation on sustainability of the projects, to investigate how finances influence sustainability of the projects and to examine how how technology influences sustainability of community piped rural water supply projects in Likuyani Sub County, Kakamega County. The sample size of the study consisted of 180 registered household members of piped water supply schemes and one piped water supply management committee in focus group discussions. Key informant interview was carried out with Staff from the sub County Water Office Random sampling techniques were used to select households. Questionnaires were used to obtain data from households while interview schedules were used to obtain data from key informants. Content validity of the data collection instruments was established by expert judgment. Reliability of the instruments was established through a pre-test. Descriptive analysis was conducted and presented using frequencies which were obtained to show distribution of responses. Results have been displayed using tables,. The findings of this study reveal that sensitization and mobilization of the community before the project implementation was not done adequately. Community was not involved in the planning and design of the project. Technologies used in the implementation of the project were often selected by state implementers without taking into consideration the cost and availability of spare parts. Communities were comfortable with the tariffs levied by their water supplies but some were not willing to pay for the water services as they felt that they were not getting value for their money because the supply of piped water was neither continuous nor was it sufficient. The study concludes that community participation at all levels had an important bearing on the sustainability of the projects as it instills a sense of ownership. The study recommends adequate funding for piped water supply projects and involvement of the community in all the phases of the project right from the planning to operation and maintenance phases as essential determinants of project sustainability. It further recommends that Public Private Partnership management model be embraced to enhance the financial and technical sustainability of the piped water supply schemes.
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