Assessment of Point Water Source Use and Management in Dodoth East County, Kaabong District, Uganda
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There is escalating global water resource utilization due to the growing population, changes in consumption patterns and the energy industry among others. The demand has resulted in an unsustainable water use, especially in areas with scarce water resources often coupled with poor water management. The study assessed the impact of the use of point water sources on people’s livelihoods, evaluated the opportunities and challenges of managing point water sources and identified actions for sustainable management of point water sources in Dodoth East County, Kaabong District, Uganda. To meet the objectives of the study, investigational tools were used and these included a structured questionnaire and a key informant interview guide. A total of 390 household respondents, 12 key informants were interviewed and 4 focus group discussions were conducted. Data analysis was carried out using descriptive statistics using percentages and the non-parametric statistical tool (Chi-square), binary logistic regression and multiple linear regressions. The study found out that 86% of the respondents consider boreholes as the major water sources used followed by seasonal streams/rivers (48%), valley tanks (14%), wind-powered water sources (8%), rock catchments (7%), shallow wells (5%), and rainwater (3%). Water is mainly used for domestic purposes (100%), livestock (61.3%), irrigation (3.1%) and other uses (6.2%). Respondents (95%) reported that men are more involved in water management, women (90%), boys (19%), and girls (16%). Therefore, 77% of the respondents agreed that water is effectively managed in their communities. The significant predictors for effective water management included level of education (P=0.018), people’s perception on decreased water quantity (P=0.000) and quality (P=0.000), availability of water management policies (P=0.000), and the number of water sources used by the households (P=0.027).Water scarcity greatly impacts people and livelihoods domestic activities (53%), health (45%), walking long distances in search for water (27%), migration of animals and people (27%), agricultural impacts (23%), other impacts like death of animals (21%) and water conflicts (8%).Water-related opportunities in the study area include government support (72%), presence of various stakeholders (60%) such as NGOs, CBOs, and religious institutions, presence development projects (44%) and presence of technical staff (32%).Factors that hinder institutions and households from effectively managing point water sources include illiteracy (76%), poverty (55%), lack of water management technologies (52%), lack of water management information (52%), among other factors. The study found that 70% of people have basic knowledge and skills on water use and management. For interventions to ensure sustainable management of point water sources, majority of the respondents (72%) reported that fencing of water points followed by construction of valley tanks (67%) livestock drinking troughs (63%), boreholes (55%), planting trees (49%), rainwater harvesting techniques (40%), mulching (22%) and stone bunds (9%) are key interventions to ensure sustainable management of point water sources. These interventions are significantly influenced by People’s perception that there is an increase in water quality (P=0.001) and decrease in water quantity (P=0.000), and availability of water management policies (P=0.000).Therefore, this study recommends continuous implementation of the existing water management policies, community involvement in water management planning activities, adoption of RWH, empowerment of water users through numerous capacity building activities, and increasing water infrastructure.