Social and economic factors influencing community participation in the implementation of Fish farming projects, a case of Embakasi Constituency, Kenya
Njuguna, Joseph M
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Community involvement in implementation of community projects. whose interventions are expeaed to impact to their Iives have been very crucial.This has been so because the involvement of the primary stakeholders has ensured sustainability of such projects long after the external funders have withdrawn their support.Most importantly, community participation provides an avenue for devolving power to the powerless.However communities have not been able to provide the required level of participation in most projects due to influence of several factors cutting across political, social and economic spheres.the fish farming projects initiated by the ministry of Fisheries Development of Kenya, in year 2009, in Embakasi constituencies are such projects. The ministry had targeted to supervise construct of 300 fish ponds,provide manure, fish feeds and fingerlings to individual farmer, by December 2010.this meant that the ministry would engage at least 300 farmers in the implementation of fish farming projects. However by December 2010' only seventy (10) fish farmers were implementing the fish & farming activities in the constituency. Given that the government funds and cash in kind bad been availed, this under achievement was attributed to inadequate community participation in the implementation of the projects. The beneficiaries were to participate in project implementation by providing Iand for pond construction labour. cash flow for day to day management of the projects and overall project ownership. Therefore. this study sought to examine social and economic factors that were influencing community participation in the implementation of these projects in the Constituency. The targeted population were farmers who were implementing the fish farming project activities. The Study sampled fifty nine (59) farmers from a target population of seventy (70) farmers. Data was collected using interview schedules and questionnaires. After analysis of the data, the study found out that land and its attribute. finances. demographic characteristics and capacity development had influenced community participation in implementation of fish farming project. In particular, the study established that no youths were engaging directly in projects implementation; Men controlled both the land and financial resources and therefore owned decision making process in the implementation of the projects; land bad soils with poor water retentions which meant that fanners had to install pond liners. The pond liners were expensive and only few fanners could afford them given the limited financial resources. Finally, die FDACs were found to be weak institutions. They never ( provided the Required institutional support to the fish fanners. As such. the study recommended among other measures; re-alignment of power relations in favour of women in utilization of land, financial resources, continuous encouragement and real engagement of youth and women in project implementation. Further utilization of women and youth Funds in funding of fish fanning related activities.