Corporate social responsibility in community development: community's view of mutuality in East African Breweries' Gakoe water project, Thika
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), with its origin in the 1920., carne into common use in the 1970s. However, public awareness of CSR grew with the coming into being of today's much talked about Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the role of organisations in helping alleviate poverty and hunger. This, study focuses on the concept of CSR in community development with the aim of establishing the local community's view of IIlutuality in CSR initiatives. The study used a case study of East African Breweries Limited (EABL)-supported Gakoe Water of Life Project in Thika District, Central Province. The broad objective of the study was to establish the community's view of mutuality in EABL's CSR Gakoe Water of Life Project. The specific objectives to the study were to find out the extent of contribution of both Gakoe community and EABL at the stages of project conceptualisation, resource mobilisation, implementation and ongoing operations. This study collected both primary and secondary types of data. Primary data was obtained from a survey of households benefiting from the water project; an emailed questionnaire to EABL's Foundation Director; interviews with the chair to the Water Project management committee; Gakoe area councillor; area Chief and an Athi Water Services Board Officer. Observation by the researcher also helped in getting some primarY data. Secondary data came from books, journals, magazines and government publications. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyse data, while data presentation was done in form of tables, figures and narrative as per the study objectives. From this study, it was established that both Gakoe community and EABL highly contributed in putting the water project into place. Though the community highly partcicipated in all activities of the water project, such participation did not translate into high levels of engagement of the community by EABL. The findings showed a deeply divided opinion on the community's views of engagement between EABL and the Gakoe community in the Water Project. Based on the findings of the' study, the following recommendations were made. Athi Water Services Regulatory Board which to take over the management of the Water Project. Adoption of a development policy which prevents the effects of free riding on the part of the public. Politics should be de-linked from the water project. Further research to determine whether participation in a project is related to the levels of partnership in the same project. Also further research on the extent of partnership between project implementers and intended beneficiaries using tracking method.