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American Journal of Water Resources. 2016, 4(3), 58-67
DOI: 10.12691/ajwr-4-3-2
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Community Participation in the Rural Water Supply Sector of Enugu State, Nigeria

Obeta Michael Chukwuma1,

1Department of Geography, Hydrology and Water Resources Unit, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Pub. Date: August 17, 2016

Cite this paper:
Obeta Michael Chukwuma. Community Participation in the Rural Water Supply Sector of Enugu State, Nigeria. American Journal of Water Resources. 2016; 4(3):58-67. doi: 10.12691/ajwr-4-3-2


The community participation policy has long been associated with rural development. Rural development planners opine that for rural development projects to succeed the host community must take active part in the development and management of such projects. Enugu state government has implemented the community participation policy in her rural water supply sector since the late 1990s. This paper examines the level of community participation in the development and management of rural water supply schemes in the state. It describes the water schemes, the practices of and factors constraining effective community participation in the area. In addition, the paper suggests strategies that can enhance the implementation of the policy in order to improve service delivery in the area. The research is largely qualitative, using data obtained through focus group discussion (FGD), interviews, observations and from records in the states agencies responsible for public water supplies. The research team interacted with 300 individuals, drawn from 15 communities hosting the 15 water schemes used in the study. The data generated were analyzed through the use of descriptive and inferences statistical tools. The results of the study revealed that practices of community participation in the study area vary widely. Genuine participation in critical stages of water projects such as selection of technology is either limited or lacking. Participation of Village Water Committees (VWCs) in the management of rural water supply schemes is mostly ceremonial and contributes little to the sustainable functioning of the schemes. Strategies that may aid the implementation of the policy are suggested.

community participation rural development water supply water supply schemes sustainability

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