Emerging Issues on the Sustainability of the Community Based Rural Water Resources Management Approach in Zimbabwe: A Case Study of Gwanda District
Dube, T. (2012), “Emerging issues on the sustainability of the community based rural water resources management approach in Zimbabwe: A case study of Gwanda district”, International Journal of Development and Sustainability, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 644-655
12 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 29, 2013
Community based rural water resources management has been largely embraced as the panacea for water provision for rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The importance of CBWRM is largely due to the fact that most low income country governments are incapacitated to adequately provide water for rural communities. CBWRM provides an alternative approach to water provision for rural communities. In view of the importance of CBWRM as a water provision strategy, this paper examines how the strategy has been operationalised in Gwanda District. The paper examines the experiences of rural communities in using CBWRM, the challenges they face, and possible options in strengthening the capacity of communities in managing their water sources in order to ensure a sustainable operationalisation of the strategy. Data was collected using focus group discussions, key informant in-depth interviews and a survey of 685 households in Gwanda district across five wards. The findings of this study are that 67% of the surveyed rural communities in Gwanda depended on community managed water resources mostly in the form of boreholes and protected wells. High rates of non-functional sources were reported at 60-70% in most wards. Several system weaknesses were noted in the current CBWRM set-up including a depletion of committee memberships, inadequate community resources, limited agency and government support. This paper makes several recommendations on strengthening the capacity of CBWRM in Zimbabwe and Africa to provide for a sustainable approach to clean water provision for rural communities.
Keywords: Community Management, Water, Rural Communities, Capacity, Sustainability
JEL Classification: Q25
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation