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Culture in rural water and sanitation projects: a case study

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:09 authored by Alison M. Furber, Martin Crapper
A case study of a water and sanitation project under construction in Emem, Ghana is used as a basis for consideration of how culture impacts on the engineering design and implementation of projects in rural communities in less developed countries. The hypothesis is that local culture is an important consideration if long term sustainability is to be achieved. It was found that, contrary to expectations, cultural issues such as religious belief had no direct bearing on the design parameters of the project. However, an understanding of local culture was vital in establishing lines of communication during the construction phase. Different attitudes to problem solving between foreign engineers and local people created some problems, but in other cases were complementary. It is concluded that engineers working on such projects need a clear understanding of their own world view in order to relate properly to their clients.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


FURBER, A.M. and CRAPPER, M., 2011. Culture in rural water and sanitation projects: a case study. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). The future of water, sanitation and hygiene in low-income countries - Innovation, adaptation and engagement in a changing world: Proceedings of the 35th WEDC International Conference, Loughborough, UK, 6-8 July 2011, 8p.p.


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