Factors influencing sustainability of water projects in slum areas of Nairobi county: a case of Maji ni Maisha water projects
Mochiemo, Edison Mokora
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The implementation of water supply projects especially in the rural areas has been the focus of successive governments in Kenya. Thus over the years many millions of dollars are invested by national governments and international donor agencies alike in sustainable water projects, however many fail to maintain the flow of expected benefits to the beneficiaries. The main purpose of the study was to investigate the factors affecting sustainability of water projects in Kenya with particular reference to Maji ni Maisha water project. The specific objectives of the study included the influence of project financing, community participation, governance and monitoring and evaluation on sustainability of water projects. The study used descriptive research design in collecting data for the study because it usually provides rich detail about the project. The target population comprised of two (2) project coordinators, ten (10) project managers and seventy eight (78) operational staff from Maji ni Maisha water projects in Nairobi County. The researcher used stratified random sampling. The data for the study was collected using the questionnaires. Quantitative data was analyzed using correlation and regression with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS17.0). The study established that water projects sustainability are influenced by financing, governance, community participation and monitoring and evaluation to high levels as project implementation and management require sufficient funding drawn from varying financial sources so as to ensure efficiency and timely procurement and maintenance of required skills, equipment and facilities. Governance is of importance in project management and performance as it provides a framework for project accountabilities and responsibilities. Community participation is essential in successful design, implementation, management, performance and sustainability of the project. There is lack of professional and technical supervision, low community participation in monitoring due to the inadequacy of data and general information. I recommend provision of general education and information and use of participatory tools such as participatory urban appraisal and many others are valuable particularly for initiating beneficiary participation processes for neighbourhood and design initiatives for local projects. The project management should effectively control use of resources by analyzing resource utilization on a regular and timely basis so as to be able to identify resource variances and inefficiencies early so that corrective action can be taken before the situation gets worse.