Community Participation in Water Resource Projects Management in Iringa District Council, Tanzania.

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Tengeru Community Development Journal


Community participation in water project management has received international attention to replace top down approaches to development. However, the approach receives critiques regarding the extent to which participation in water project design and implementation is meaningful and really engages communities in the process. This calls for continuous local level research to identify practices that can increase the likelihood of meaningful community participation. A cross sectional research was conducted in Iringa District, Tanzania to assess the practice of community participation on selected community water projects. The study specifically ought to assess participation of stakeholders in different stages of water projects development and to determine the role of community members in maintenance of project infrastructure. Data collection was carried out through household‟s survey, semi-structured interviews with key informants and focus groups discussions. Descriptive analysis was employed to answer key research questions. The study findings show that despite water being one of the essential needs in the respective communities, the initial idea came from donors. Generally, the community participation was low in almost all project phases. The communication mechanism in terms of feedback and information sharing, community capacity to engage into project technical maintenance and women participation in water project governance was found to be weak. The paper concludes that there is less consideration of the principles of community participation in executing water projects at Iringa District Council. It is recommended that the meaningful participation should adhere to the key principals of community engagement in all phases of project design and management.


Tengeru Community Development Journal, Vol. 5, No.2, 2018, pg. 80-90


Community, Participation, Sustainability, Water project, Community management