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Sustainability Challenges of Community Managed Rural Water Supply Schemes in the Central Rift Valley: A Case Study of Dugda Woreda, East Shoa Zone of Oromia Region, Ethiopia

The sustainability of community managed rural water supply schemes is a key factor in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of ensuring environmental sustainability, improving health and eradicating extreme poverty for the overwhelming rural majority living in the developing world, including Ethiopia. However, the extensive assessment of the literature and empirical studies revealed that the concept and application of community management to ensure sustainability of rural water schemes are not the panacea they are often presented to be. This research has attempted to address sustainability challenges of community managed rural water supply schemes (CMRWSSs) in four villages of Dugda Wereda, East Shoa Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia.

In the light of the research objective, four water schemes, two successful and two not, have been compared and community, financial, technical, institutional and environmental challenges, lessons and experiences on rural community water scheme management have been identified. Surprisingly, the findings have revealed that concept and philosophy of community management is not a one-size-fits-all solution because, out of the four studied schemes, two are found to be successful and two are not.

According to the findings of this piece of research, strengthening community participation, building community and woreda capacity, developing trusted and transparent system of fund management, minimizing problems related with availability of spare parts, providing an ongoing relevant basic trainings on financial, technical and overall scheme management to the water committees, providing an ongoing institutional support from implementing agencies, and improving construction and water quality are some of the recommendations that ensure sustainability of community managed rural water supply schemes.

Gobezayehu Getachew Yilma (2010)


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