Factors influencing rural water supply development in Kinango district, coast province, Kenya
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Despite efforts made by the Government, Non Governmental Organizations, Donors and the local communities to provide clean, safe, reliable and adequate drinking water for Kinango District, acute water shortages and its associated socio- economic and environmental problems are still experienced in most parts of the district. Furthermore, majority of the already implemented rural water supply projects (if any) have either been abandoned (non-functional) or only function intermittently and therefore, have failed to meet the expectations of the stakeholders. Thus, the purpose of this study was to establish factors influencing rural water supply development in Kinango District, Coast province, Kenya. The study seeks to determine: whether institutional framework influence rural water supply development; the influence of economic and environmental factors; the nature and extent of community participation in rural water supply development; and to establish the extent which water resource endowments and their 'reliability' influence rural water supply in Kinango District. This study is a descriptive survey design which employs questionnaire interview schedules and observation as the data collection instruments. The data was analysed using descriptive and qualitative techniques. The study concludes that: inadequate allocation of funds for rural water projects; the existing water resources are inadequate and unevenly distributed; lack of strong and effective institutional structures; and the prevailing harsh environmental conditions in the area influence rural water supply development in Kinango District. The study therefore recommends that: Government should allocate adequate funds to rural water projects; large dams should be developed; the second Mzima and Marere pipeline should focus on the rural parts of the district; poverty alleviation programmes to go hand in hand with rural water supply development; implementation of rural water projects to be coordinated; and the design and planning of rural water supply projects should integrate environmental concerns. Nonetheless, these factors are not exhaustive. The study therefore suggests that the following areas need further investigation as they could have a profound influence on rural water supply development. These include: the influence of policy and decision makers on resource allocation; the state of human security in the rural areas and its impact on rural water supply development; the impact of land tenure; and the potential/state of ground water resource and its impact on rural water supply development.