Water Supply Projects in Kenya: A Guide for Practitioners


This major research paper, entitled Water Supply Projects in Kenya: A Guide for Practitioners, has been written to fulfil three main objectives:
*     to serve as the articulation of the primary activities undertaken during the MES  lit phase of my program at the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES).
*     to use it to further help with the integration and synthesis of my learning objectives.
*     to conclude my time at FES in a manner consistent with my chosen Programme Quadrant, Practice in intervention.

This major paper was developed over the past year using data obtained from a combination of field work and an extensive literature review.    The field work and part of the literature review was conducted during two academic terms that I spent in Kenya as part of a linkage program between FES and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Nairobi (DURP). While in Kenya I  had the pleasure - and honour - of studying with the students and professors at DURP.  The field work consisted of two separate investigations. One was an individually directed study of a water supply project on the outskirts of Nairobi township.The other study involved my collaboration with the first year students at DURP during a week long examination of a water supply project on the slopes of Mount Kenya. The literature review for this paper began while in Kenya and concluded in Canada. The function of much of the archival analysis done in Kenya was to supplement the field work interviews. In Canada this analysis was used primarily to develop a theoretical framework, substantiated by documented experiences, for the implementation of participatory development projects.

The key components of my Plan of Study are: (1) Approaches to International Development; (2) Community Participation; and (3) Ecodevelopment.    The title of my Area of Concentration is "Community-based Participatory Development." This Area of Concentration represents an alternative framework for the implementation of international development projects. This approach is centred around the human being and the satisfaction, on a self-sustaining basis, of basic needs and aspirations. It is based on people's participation in their own "development" within a framework of socio-economic justice, gender sensitivity, and respect for the natural environment.

This paper has served to integrate many of the learning objectives in my Plan of Study with their synthesis illustrated in this paper's proposed alternative framework for the implementation of water supply projects in Kenya.    This search for a framework  based on community participation represents the practical manifestation of the philosophies espoused in my Area of Concentration.    Both the means by which this major paper evolved and its applicability in development practice is entirely consistent with my chosen Programme Quadrant, Practice in  Intervention. The relevance of all knowledge gained throughout the development of this paper was its practical applicability.    This philosophy was eventually articulated in the form of a proposed framework and checklist to aid development agencies with their implementation of water supply  projects in Kenya.

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