An evaluation of the sustainability of community based rural Water supplies in Matobo District: A Case Study of Warm 3.

Author: Mabhena, Sebenzile

One of the major challenges facing most community managed rural water supplies is lack of Sustainability. Over the past decades, community management and community participation has been employed as a measure that may yield to sustainability but the results have not been very much convincing. There are still no clear indicator as to what can be employed that may result in the sustainability of these rural water systems. There are other issues such as financing mechanism, local capacity building, community participation, repair and maintenance which should also been compassed in a bid to address the issue of sustainability. Interviews and focus group discussions were used to evaluate the sustainability of rural water supplies in Matobo District. Sustainability indicators that were used were human capability building, technology used, and financing mechanism, availability of spare parts and repair and maintenance. The study established that there was in adequate training for local village pump mechanics, spare parts used at times was a bit technical for the local and at times was not even available; the villagers had a challenge in finances especially for repair maintenance and payment of the village pump mechanic. There were a number of factors that seemed to contribute to non functionality of water systems which included conflicts, poor financing mechanism, and unavailability of spare parts among other factors. Recommendations and conclusions were then made, the researcher recommended that policy reforms should be revisited and revised, Village Pump Mechanics to get throught raining on maintenance and repair skills, communities to be involved and they should participate in the project implemented in their community