The sustainability of community-managed water supply. A case study of Ilala community-managed water supply, Kwara State, Nigeria

2017-03-01T01:39:17Z (GMT) by Gbahabo, Percy Terfa
Community-managed water supply has, since the 1990s, been widely hailed and promoted as the solution to the challenges of rural community water provision in Africa. However, the sustainability of this approach to water provision is debated because of low rural water supply and frequent system break down in many different context. The research falls within the area of community water management and sustainability. Particularly, it will investigate the sort of community management that may make rural water supply sustainable. The research uses the case study of Ilala community, Kwara State, and was undertaken through review of relevant documents, of personal observations and of interviews with Ilala community members and government officials. Literature on the sustainability of community-managed water supply is controversial as there seems to be lack of agreement about the sustainability of the model. This thesis contributes to the debate about the sustainability of community-managed water supply. Field data from Ilala reveal that community water management is sustainable in Ilala. Furthermore, the research findings show that the motivation of beneficiaries to utilize the improved water source was necessary for sustainability. Second, community practice of maintenance in the absence of formal support structure significantly enhanced the sustainability of the water scheme. More so, regular contribution for water tariff enforced by the traditional ruler was also instrumental to the continuous functionality of the water scheme. Lastly, the existence of a strong Community Development Association and the availability strong leadership in the community provided support to the community-managed water scheme and enhanced sustainability. Field data further show that the state created and empowered agencies such as the Kwara State Community and Social Development Agencies and Kwara State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency to provide support to rural communities to manage their water. Ilala community did receive government assistance to construct the community water scheme, but that one-off support is arguably inadequate. Providing on-going support to rural communities is necessary to ensure sustainability in rural water supply. The report concludes with some suggestions for improvement in state policy