An analysis of the challenges of implementing the community based maintenance system of rural water facilities: a case of Ngando Sub County, Mpigi District
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The community based Maintenance System is an approach that was introduced in Uganda in 1986 for the operation and Maintenance of rural water facilities for sustainability. With the introduction of CBMS, it was expected that functionality rate will be 80%-90% at any one time (Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, 2001). However, in Ngando Sub County functionality stands at 30% instead of the expected 80%-90%. The research aimed at establishing the socio-political, institutional and financial challenges influencing the operationalising of the Community Based Maintenance System in the Planning, Mobilization, Construction, Operation and Maintenance phases. A descriptive case study approach was adopted using research methods of Interview, document review, limited observation and focus group discussions. A sample of 14 water facilities was selected purposively and 70 respondents were selected using stratified sampling method. The study was conducted in Ngando Sub County, Mpigi District. Data was collected by use of questionnaires, interview guides and Observation checklists. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS while qualitative data was analyzed using content and thematic analysis. Generally it was established that institutionally there is lack of information especially at the Sub County and community level on their roles and responsibilities coupled with the high labor turn over which frustrates the capacity building efforts. Financially, the main challenge lies in how to determine affordable user fees given the subsistence economy of the communities and the storage of the collected funds. Socio-politically, the challenge lies with the people’s attitude and the impact of the existing alternative water sources. It is therefore recommended that, in order to strengthen the CBMS efforts should be made to sensitize lower level stakeholders on their roles and responsibilities and the implementation arrangements. Technically, relatively maintenance free technologies should be adopted. In addition, improvement of existing wells should be considered as first priority before introduction of new technologies in a given community.