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Stephen Githaka Mboi - Master in Arts Degree in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof.  Harriet Kidombo - University of Nairobi, Kenya


Project sustainability is a very important aspect of any project implementation. Small holder irrigation project is one of the programs the Government of Kenya has been promoting to guarantee food security throughout the nation. Despite massive investment in the sub-sector, the sustainability of the projects has been poor in many counties including Kirinyaga County. The purpose of the present study was to examine factors that influence the sustainability of small holder irrigation projects in Kenya. Its four objectives were; to establish how funding levels influence the sustainability of small holder irrigation projects, determine how the technology used influence the sustainability of small holder irrigation projects, to find out how project management committee influence the sustainability of small holder irrigation project, and to assess how availability of water for irrigation influence the sustainability of small holder irrigation projects. The study was undertaken in Kirinyaga Central Sub-County. There were 132 respondents with 30 project committee members, 100 project members and 2 irrigation officials from the sub county office. Two kinds of instruments were used in the data collection exercise. The first instrument a questionnaire was administered to the project committee members and farmers in the projects identified. The instrument had both blank and closed questions, some with four rating scale. The second instrument was an interview schedule whose data was collected from the irrigation officials at the sub county level. The data that was collected was analyzed using the computer-based program known as Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented using tables. The research was undertaken in the small holder irrigation schemes within Kirinyaga central sub-county and the sub county irrigation officials in the same sub county. Data collection took two weeks while the analysis took three weeks. When data analysis was undertaken, it was found that funding levels influenced the sustainability of small holder irrigation projects, technology used also had an influence in the sustainability of the small holder irrigation projects, project management influenced the sustainability of the irrigation projects while availability of irrigation water did not have the effect on the sustainability of the projects. As a result, the researcher recommended that the government and other stakeholders in the irrigation sub sector should network and raise enough funds for the small scale irrigation projects. At the same time the ministry incharge of irrigation should take charge in order to regulate and control the design of the irrigation projects. The researcher also recommended that the ministry in charge of irrigation should incorporate other government agencies and train the irrigation project members on project management. Areas for further studies were also suggested.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)