International Conference on Rain Water Cistern Systems
"Rainwater Catchment for Future Generations"
Keelung, Taiwan, R.O.C. - August 1991
6: Socioeconomic Aspects and Cost Analysis
Gravity Fed Water Catchment Schemes In Kenya “Following A New Approach”
Canadian Hunger Foundation,
In 1982, the Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) carried out a study of village
water projects in Kenya to find out why they had such a high failure rate. Many
of the projects studied had received donations from development agencies or NGOs
which were used for the purchase and installation of materials. Ho ever, without
a sound institutional framework, water would flow only for a short time much to
the bewilderment of the donor, who would of understand why the project had 'failed'.
The result would frequently be an evaluation seeking technical flaws that excludes
'an assessment of the institutional aspects. Repairs or modifications would then
be carried out for the technical flaws, but water would still not flow continuously.
Eventually, the donor would be come disillusioned and finally resign from the
The symptoms of institutional inadequacy were found to be
- Poor Management skills
- Little or no organisational structure
- Lack of maintenance skills
- Absence of a sound financial plan of regular income and of administrative
- Absence of a sense of ownership of the water project by the community
- Ignorance of the skills and resources required to run a water project
- A 'charity' relationship between funding partner and the community groups
It was clear that the institutional requirements of village water projects
had not received enough attention. All parties concerned had grossly underestimated
what is required f r such projects to be successful and self-sustaining. It was
apparent that a new approach was required. Thus the CHF embarked on the development
of a new approach and used it to support a number of projects. In the case of
the first CHF assisted project, the CHF commenced in 1984 and withdrew in 1987.
By 1989, the group had a healthy bank balance, expanded their project by 100%
and had built their own offices. It now serves as a model for other project development
all over Kenya. It is the NGO which participated in the community's project not
the other way round.
PDF of full document (7pp,
|Note: The IRCSA proceedings
section is still new and under active management, If you find any problems,
ommissions or corrections please contact
the administrator so we can put things right.