Resource mobilization for community-managed rural water systems: evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia

Rural water systems in sub-Saharan Africa are often managed by community water committees. For this to be sustainable, committees must be able to finance the operation and maintenance, repair, and/or upgrade of their water systems. We conducted 321 interviews, focus group discussions, and mapping activities in Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia to determine how non-monetary and non-fee mechanisms are used to support rural water systems. We identified four widely-used mechanisms involving the exchange of personal and community assets, community institutions, and community labor, for resources that allow the water committee to support their water system. Non-fee mechanisms enable water committees to maintain the functionality and sustainability of community-managed rural water systems, and should be tailored to the community’s needs and characteristics.

Resource mobilization for community-managed rural water systems: evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Nikki L. Behnke, Tori Klug, Ryan Cronk, Katherine F. Shields, Kristen Lee, Emma R. Kelly, Greg Allgood, and Jamie Bartram. 2017. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 156: 437-444doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.04.016.