Problems, issues and challenges of community water projects in rural areas of Iganga District (Bugweri & Luuka Counties)
Lusala, John Baptist
MetadataShow full item record
The study was carried out to assess the problems, issues and challenges of community water projects in rural areas of Iganga District (Bugweri & Luuka Counties) and was guided by four objectives; to identify and evaluate water projects and their functionality, identify and assess problems affecting rural community water projects, assess the involvement of communities in the provision and management of potable water and to examine the role of Government and the Private sector in the provision and management of community water. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were applied and included; questionnaire survey, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, observation and secondary data. Random sampling was used to select the villages and population size for the study. SPSS was used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data was analyzed manually based on the objectives of the study. Water projects in Iganga district were; Boreholes (75.4%), Shallow wells (18.5%), Protected Springs (1.1%) unprotected wells (1.5%) and Rainwater harvesting tanks (3.0%). Government was the major service provider in the District (50.8%) and especially in Luuka County (71.4%), Private sector (26.1%), Community (15.4%) and Individuals (7.4%). Private sector role was high in Bugweri County (37.8%) compared to Luuka County with only (10.7%). Functionality of all water projects in the district was at 72.5%. Water harvesting tanks and springs had 100% functionality, Boreholes (93.8%), Shallow wells (42.9%) and 26% for un protected wells. There was no significant difference in the number of water projects between counties (X2 = 6.39, df = 4, P>0.05). Water accessibility was at 58.7% behind the PEAP target of 90% of population using safe water in rural areas by 2007/8 and also that of the MDGs of 62 %. Major problems were; low water yield from the source (50%), congestion (21.9%), pollution (15.6%) and drought (3.1%), user conflicts (1.6%) and poor siting (1.1%). FGDs and Key Informant Interviews established other problems that included; inadequate consultation with communities, political interference and poor monitoring, high construction and maintenance costs, corruption and theft of borehole equipment and siltation of unprotected wells. Regarding the water problems in the counties, there was a significant difference (X2= 20.2 df= 8 P<0.05) between counties. For example, low water yields from the source was a major problem in Bugweri County whereas congestion was in Luuka County. Communities as service providers contributed 15.4% to the total water supply projects in the District in form of cleaning and protecting water source (20.9%), investment and maintenance costs (13.7%), grass root inputs (labor, sand, gravel, food, accommodation for workers) (17.3%), planning and decision-making (15.1%) and set up of water user committees (20.1%). The government provided most of the water sources especially boreholes due to the high investment costs. The private sector engaged more in low cost options. While the water sector funding from government was higher, it was not proportionate to the rising population water needs. Capacity building of key stakeholder organizations was still insufficient. There was a great need for the District Water Officer and County Water Officers to spearhead and reinforce monitoring and support roles. Many NGOs/CBOs such as Busoga Trust played a key role in provision of water. Unfortunately, due to the large financial requirements, they still could not cope with the demands. Major issues included lack of awareness and education, gender mainstreaming in community water projects and, inadequate capacity to own and properly manage water projects. Challenges included; increasing population which impacts on accessibility in terms of water quantity, limited finances that inhibit provision of water projects, and drought due to climate change that affects the water sources. There should be increased public funding and collaboration with stakeholders in community water projects and, most importantly, involve the communities who are the beneficiaries of the water projects in the planning and implementation.