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Muthoni Kabutia Betty Mwambia - Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Christopher Gakuo - Odel Campus, University of Nairobi, Kenya


Water is the primary channel through which society, especially the poor, feel the impact of climate change and environmental degradation. The study endeavored to answer the underlying influence of water projects on the living standards for the residents of Tigania east Sub County, Meru County in Kenya. The objectives of the study were: To determine how irrigation, access to domestic water, water selling and the quality of the water influence living standard of the people of Tigania east Sub County. A descriptive survey was used in the study on assessing the influence of water projects on the living standard of the people in Tigania east Sub County.  The target population was picked from household heads within Tigania East Sub County. Tigania East has 5 wards and has 39 sub-locations. Each of the sub locations was clustered and based on their population the villages were selected.  Data was collected from households in Tigania East Sub County. The following were the major findings made from the results of the study. The Available water to the communities remains unsafe forcing families to incur extra expense to not only pay for water bills but also pay health charges. Water is sold at exorbitant prices this is because of high operations costs as most of the people charged with the responsibilities of water projects are untrained. Another aspect is that most of the water projects are mismanaged and therefore this is pushed to the consumers of water. Presence of middle men/persons or cartels also poses a challenge on the pricing of water thereby in On management of water projects, especially management of the proceeds from sale of water by the water projects as well as Operations and Maintenance (O&M) remain with people who have not been trained, this increases the chances of mismanagement and affects the water prices. pending on the purchasing power of families and individuals. The study found that all the independent variables had a significant influence on the living standards of the people of Tigania East. The quality of water has an impact on the income and health status of children, families and community members. Individuals spend their meager resources when they fall sick to treat themselves owing to a preventable cause of poor water quality in the community. Inaccessibility of water for domestic use also affects the living standards of the people; distances to water sources are far thereby many households spend several hours looking for the precious commodity. These hours spent would be used to carry out other chores and activities that would increase the income levels of the families. The lack of alternative sources of water during the dry season also affects the community. The families that carry out irrigation have better living standards and higher income levels than those households that do not. The following recommendations were made in order to improve the living standards of people. There is need to train water committees on proper management of water projects and on the importance of provision of good quality water to the community members. The community members also need to be sensitized on the need to put their water project committees to task over cases of corruption and cartels especially the water projects that collect revenue from the sale of water. This could be done through government efforts of strengthening water Users Associations through implementation of the Water Act 2001.Government of Kenya, through ministry of Water and Irrigation to increase levels of awareness of Rain Water Harvesting as well as develop water infrastructure to reduce the distances to water sources and to improve of the Quality and accessibility of water at household level. The following areas are suggested for further study: To determine the impact of water scarcity on the household’s purchasing power. To determine the impact of training of water project committees on sustainability of water projects.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)