Support to Community Management of Water in Sengerema District, Tanzania
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In Tanzania, as in many developing countries, community management has become the predominant model in rural water supply. In community management of water, usually a committee (a Water User Group) consisting of several members of the community bears responsibility for the community's water point. Although this model is applauded to by development scholars, practitioners, and developing countries' governments, many researches have demonstrated that it has not yet freed the rural water supply sector from its serious problems. Practice shows that communities are not able to maintain their water points themselves in a sustainable manner. Although underexposed in academic literature, structural post-construction support from another entity turns out to be a prerequisite for sustainable water supply. This qualitative research investigates what kind of support Water User Groups currently receive, it explores what kind of support is needed in order to make their water supply sustainable, and it makes recommendations on how support to Water User Groups can be improved. This research confirms the earlier findings on the necessity of support to Water User Groups for sustainable rural water supply. Besides presenting a Practical Framework for Sustainability, this thesis discusses the well-known concepts of cost recovery and ownership. It demonstrates the indispensability of cost-recovery in rural water supply, and provides Water User Groups as well as their supporting entities with a Model for Financial Sustainability. This thesis questions the prevalent academic belief that a lack of community's ownership is a main reason for the disappointing results of community management. Instead, it recommends the concepts of 'a community's responsibility' and 'a community's initiative' for further research.