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Paradigm shift in rural water supply programme

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:09 authored by M. Azuma, S.C. Jayakaran
Rural communities in the Republic of Zambia have been suffering from droughts which had caused severe damages to crops as wells as sources of drinking water for the rural population several times. As support for drought preparedness of these communities, the Department of Water Affairs (DWA), Ministry of Energy and Water Development in Zambia has implemented rural water supply projects with the assistance of external donor agencies. Data and information presented here were collected during the participation of the writers in the Project for the Rural Water Supply and the Southern Province Water Supply Project. Roles and responsibilities of actors over rural water supply have changed in the process of implementation of these interventions by DWA with correlation with economic, political, and social conditions in the country. Among such changes, adoption of the National Water Policy in 1994 can be considered as a landmark in the water and sanitation sector to lead a shift in paradigm in terms of management of rural water supply. Examining two rural water supply projects as cases, this paper mainly deals with issues of transition and growth of the community-based operation and maintenance system before and after adoption of the National Water Policy and the WASHE (Water, Sanitation and Health Education) concept in Zambia. This comparative study focuses on the roles of the village water committees, which have gradually evolved from the groups for maintenance of water supply facilities to those for policy/decision making in improvement of their living conditions. Secondly, changes in support system by the local administrations and approaches of interventions by the external agencies are examined.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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AZUMA, M. and JAYAKARAN, S.C., 2001. Paradigm shift in rural water supply programme. IN: Scott, R. (ed). People and systems for water, sanitation and health: Proceedings of the 27th WEDC International Conference, Lusaka, Zambia, 20-24 August 2001, pp. 271-275.


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