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Emmanuel Steve Olela - Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Luketero Wanyonyi - Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi, Kenya


Access to water is key in promoting resilience and livelihoods in arid and semi-arid lands. Sustainable management of water supply projects would ensure water for drinking, domestic, livestock and other productive uses is enhanced to support inhabitant’s livelihoods. The government and civil society organizations have implemented many projects worth millions of investments but still facing sustainability challenges over a period. The study objectives were to evaluate the choice of technology influence on sustainability, to determine the level at which socio-economic factors influence sustainability, to evaluate influence of socio cultural factors on sustainability, to identify influence of water tariffs on sustainability and finally to determine the influence of specialized training of service teams on sustainability of water supplies projects for rural communities in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands. The research was guided by four capital model theory. The research adopted a descriptive research methodology to collect quantitative and qualitative data from a sample size of 384 from a target population of 32, 226 served by 17 boreholes, focus group discussions with three water management committees and three key informants. Simple random sampling technique was used to select respondents who are water supplies projects beneficiaries. Data was collected using well-structured questionnaires, interview schedules and focus group discussion guides. The data was cleaned of errors, verified and coded. Using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version 21), descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data was analyzed thematically, and the findings presented. The study findings show that there is a positive relationship between sustainability of water supply projects and choice of technology, socio-economic factors, socio-cultural factors, water tariffs and specialized training of service teams. The significance values for relationship between sustainability of water supply projects and choice of technology, socio-economic factors, socio cultural factors, water tariffs and specialized training on technical knowledge and skills influence of magnitude 0.000, 0.004, 0.006, 0.000 and 0.001 with water tariffs and choice of technology being the most significant factors. Training, availability of spare parts and water abstraction technology were prerequisite towards sustainability resulting to reliable access to water dur to minimal breakdowns. There was lack of involvement and participation in water supply development process including tariff setting with household consumption a major factor to consider in tariff setting. Socio-cultural factors were found not to influence sustainability of water supply projects. Researcher recommends selection of appropriate technologies such as solar powered systems in place of generators to reduce costs of regular maintenance due to lack of trained technicians, Training of service team and water committees technical and management of water supply projects and advocacy for local entrepreneurs to become stockiest of spare parts required for existing systems. Finally, water supply projects conduct life cycle cost analysis to help in setting tariffs able to raise operations and maintenance. Further study is recommended on factors influencing sustainability of water supply projects for rural communities in Arid and Semi-Arid lands.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)