Assessing the Sustainability of Rural Water Supply Programs: A Case Study of Pawaga, Tanzania
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Today, over 1 billion people lack access to a clean, safe, and reliable drinking water supply. As a result, millions die each year from waterborne illness. The UN has established a target within the Millennium Development Goals to halve the number of people without access to clean water by 2015. Unfortunately, much of sub-Saharan Africa is not on track to meet this target. To address this crisis, there has recently been increased interest from NGOs and foreign aid agencies in developing community-based rural water supply and sanitation programs. However, these programs often fail after a few years, making sustainability an essential and timely topic. This master’s project draws upon existing literature and expert opinions to create a comprehensive framework for assessing program sustainability. Aspects of civil society, institutional capacity, operation and maintenance, financial considerations and monitoring and evaluation constitute the framework. Based on household surveys and strategic stakeholder interviews gathered in the field, this framework is applied to the Pawaga Sustainable Development Programme in Tanzania’s Iringa Rural District. In all, 46 household surveys—to elicit qualitative, program-specific data—were conducted in three of the eight villages involved in Phase I of the Pawaga program. Project engineers, community leaders, local government officials, donor agency staff, and NGO staff were all consulted to obtain additional information and perspectives. To complement this information, observational study of community meetings and sanitation training sessions was gathered and analyzed. At the request of Tearfund UK, the project client, recommendations are provided to improve the sustainability of both phases of the Pawaga program. This framework is intended to be a tool utilized by both our client, as well as other stakeholders in the water supply and sanitation sector to ensure the sustainability of future water supply programs, particularly those in the developing world.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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