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Water schemes for social development

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:08 authored by Andrew Graham, Maric Kangamba, Darren Hedley
During the water decade of 1980-90, water programs evolved from purely engineering solutions through to more integrated approaches, encompassing health, community management, livelihood improvement, and social development aims. With rapidly improving participatory methodologies in the nearly 1990s, it has become even more possible and necessary to design water projects not in terms of specific technologies or prearranged management systems, but in terms of a process of dialogue between project implementors, residents, government, and other stakeholders. In this sense, we see water programs as being increasingly shaped by social development methods and objectives. Particularly prominent are issues related to the empowerment of the poor and marginalized. Since 1992, CARE International has been working in peri-urban settlements in Zambia, in a variety of mutually-reinforcing project interventions, such as infrastructure improvements and micro-finance. This paper explores one particular experience, the establishment of a community-managed water supply scheme in Chipata compound, an unplanned, low income settlement of 45,000 residents on the northern outskirts of the capital, Lusaka. Through this case, we wish to outline some of the key methods used to empower residents to manage water projects, and reflect particularly on the challenges of community institution building and the complex institutional linkages in an urban setting.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


GRAHAM, A., KANGAMBA, M. and HEDLEY, D., 1999. Water schemes for social development. IN: Pickford, J. (ed). Integrated development for water supply and sanitation: Proceedings of the 25th WEDC International Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 August-2 September 1999, pp.226-230.


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