Factors influencing sustainability of community water projects initiated by non-governmental organisations in Asego Division of Homa Bay District
Odhiambo, Vincent O
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The discourse on sustainability of community projects is premised on perceived benefits and outcomes that it comes with. It is critical for development actors to engage with the communities in such a manner that they become empowered and partner with them equally in development initiatives. However, this has not been the case as the development actors dictate and determine terms of engagement with the community members. More often than not the approach is usually top-down as opposed to bottom-up. This has its negative consequences as it dis-empowers the communities and reduces them to mere spectators and recipients of donor projects, thus culminating to dependency syndrome. The purpose of this study was to establish factors influencing sustainability of community water projects initiated by NOOs in Asego division of Homa Bay district. The objectives of the study were; to assess the level at which community participation influences sustainability of water projects initiated by NOOs in Asego division of Homa Bay district, to establish the extent to which community capacity building influences the sustainability community water projects and to find out the influence of NOO organizational setting and operating policies on the sustainability of community water projects in Asego division. This was a descriptive survey where both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect data. For quantitative and qualitative data (FODs), simple random sampling technique was used to obtain the water projects to participate in the study while purposive sampling was applied to get the respondents for the KIIs. The data collection instruments included the questionnaires, FODs and KIIs. The study found out that community participation in NOO community water projects is fundamental and involves them differently at different stages of project cycle management. This study found out that community participation and community capacity building for sound management of water projects encourages the community members to learn and make informed decisions on the implementation of the projects. This also enhances ownership and hence empowerment of the community. The researcher therefore concludes that community participation, capacity building and NOO organizational setting and operating policies that are enabling contribute to the sustainability of community water projects. The researcher recommends that VWMCs' internal structures be strengthened, more collaborative efforts between the stakeholders and the NOOs implementing water projects and also close monitoring and regulation of NOO work be done to capture their contribution to community development. Other areas for further research work include: A study on the role of gender in community water projects, a study on the effects of partnerships by different stakeholders in water projects and a similar study but in different set-up, to establish the factors that influence sustainability of community water projects initiated by NOOs. This would highlight the issues underlying the failure of the water projects initiated by NOOs and hence inform on decision making when designing the same projects at the community level.