Community participation in local government programs in Kanungu District. a comparative study of the implementation of the water and sanitation projects in Kanungu and Kihihi Town Councils
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The study set out to establish the relationship between community participation and sustainability of Water Supply Projects of Kanungu and Kihihi Town Councilsi in Kanungu District. It investigated the evidence availabile of community participation in Local Government programs. Emphasis was placed on analysis of the extent of the community participation in problem identification, consultation, involvement, decision-making, project ownership and sustainability. The study was carried out using a self administered questionnaire and an interview guide. It utilised a case study survey design in which both qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in the collection and analysis of the results. Primary information that was collected was analysed by the application of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). From the study results, it was found out that there is only minimal community participation which inevitably leads to low levels of success, questionable ownership and sustainability of the projects. Consequently, the local people of the Town Councils perceive themselves as passive recipients rather than full owners of the projects. The study concluded that Majority of the people acknowledge that the water and sanitation project has benefited them by bringing clean and safe water nearer. Despite the fact that the majority perceive the projects as being for the communities, other look at them as being for other institutions like government and NGOS / Faith Based Organizations that provided the schemes. communities are aware of the roles and responsibilities they are supposed to execute in the operation and maintenance of water and sanitation projects and majority of the communities do not pay funds for operation and maintenance of water and sanitation projects. It was recommended that Water and Sanitation projects should highly involve women if they have to be sustainable, children between ages 14-17 years should be involved in mobilisation and sensitization campaign about protection and maintenance of water source, since they usually do the fetching of water, the project should carry out capacity building and sensitiziation for communities in the project areas about the importance of the Water and Sanitation Projects , as a means of redressing marginalization issues and promote a multi disciplinary approach in addressing the issues of marginalization as identified by the communities.