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Community management - lessons from Rwanda

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:08 authored by Susanne Niedrum
Development agencies continue to think of community management as the solution to the sustainability of rural water supplies despite the fact that successful examples are rare. Progress has been made, but it has been painfully slow. At the beginning of the Decade, communities were expected to manage new water supplies after only a few hours or days training. Nowadays many projects have ‘community management’ components which work with the community to train them to manage their water supply. But even so, there are very few rural water supplies which, two or three years after the departure of the development agency, are still running. The “soft” components of projects are given insufficient priority. Lessons learnt are insufficiently documented and insufficiently disseminated with the result that mistakes continue to be repeated and millions of aid dollars continue to be wasted. It is time to ask the question: Is community management a viable option. If so, what conditions are necessary for it to work? The aim of this paper is to share the experience of community management of rural water supply in Rwanda.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


NIEDRUM, S., 1994. Community management - lessons from Rwanda. IN: Pickford, J. et al. (eds). Affordable water supply and sanitation: Proceedings of the 20th WEDC International Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22-26 August 1994, pp.52-54.


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