This study was aimed at assessing the level of Community Participation and management (CPM) practices in rural water supply in three selected communities of Napak district in Uganda. The rationale for CPM approach to development was largely embraced in Uganda in 1992, when the country adopted devolution system of decentralization with the objective of empowering the local people to participate in decision-making in all aspects affecting their wellbeing, as enshrined in the 1995 national constitution. Ideally the assumption behind this development strategy was that, by involving beneficiaries at all levels of community based projects, they will be able to ensure transparency and accountability and have control over their long term Operation and maintenance (O&M) as an alternative to poverty alleviation since water provision is a basic need. In Uganda, the Water Act of 1995 and its sector guidelines gives rural communities the ownership of water development projects as a basis to ensure their sustainability. There is a strong argument that community involvement, even at the lower intensities of participation, is a “prerequisite for sustainability” (Harvey and Reed 2006). The participation of communities based on their willingness to contribute increases effectiveness, efficiency, empowerment, equity, coverage and the overall sustainability of water supply projects (Narayan 1995 as in Gleitsmann 2005). This reinforces the assumption that, Demand-Responsive Approach (DRA) significantly increases the sustainability of water supply projects (Sara and Katz 1998). However in reality the rhetoric of participation may be over emphasized in the literature than practice, given diverse nature of local communities in terms of gender, age, literacy and other factors like poverty and insecurity. All of which seem to affect the effectiveness of community based management structures. This paper focuses on analyzing how the three selected communities of Napak district in Uganda participate and manage water supply projects. It Posits to examine this through keeping track of participatory processes including community contribution, existence and functionality of management structures like committees and caretakers, support by government and NGOs together with level of community organization. This is therefore backed up by primary data generated from the field through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), Key informants Interviews among government and NGO leadership. All of which was analyzed reflecting on the concepts of CPM, Community organization, empowerment and sustainability, whose findings were the basis of conclusions made at the end of this paper. Relevance to Development Studies In developing world, studies of development in contemporary academic environment cannot be complete without considering the role community participation and management of local development projects. Most governments and development organizations have prioritized the involvement of beneficiaries in decision-making processes in matters that affect their well-being as a strategy to build local capacity for sustainability of all community interventions. Peoples participation and empowerment to manage their projects has the potential to contribute to possible solutions that can inform development policy for poverty alleviation in most third world as target number one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Specifically, this research will make a contribution to the existing body of knowledge in course 4202 (Poverty concepts and interventions) within a wider Poverty studies and Policy Analysis-POV Specialization, in as far as voices of the poor and participatory approaches are concerned.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Community, Participation, Community management, Community Organization, Empowerment, Sustainability, Water supply
Thesis Advisor Nicholas, Awortwi
Persistent URL
Series Poverty Studies and Policy Analysis (POV)
Koryang, Timothy. (2011, December 15). Community participation and management of sustainable rural water supply. Poverty Studies and Policy Analysis (POV). Retrieved from