Assessment of performance of Small-Scale Water Infrastructure for Multiple use in Insiza District, Zimbabwe
Masuku, Precious Thulebona
MetadataShow full item record
Small-scale Water Infrastructure (SWI) support livelihoods of rural communities by providing water for domestic, agriculture and livestock. The provision of water for agriculture and livestock gives secondary benefits of improved nutrition, food security and income generation. In the past the focus has been the provision of SWI to rural communities; with little attention paid to the performance of the infrastructure. The objective of the study was thus to assess the performance of SWI used for multiple purposes in Insiza District. Out of a total of 162 SWI in the four wards of Insiza District consisting of four types, namely boreholes, wells, windmills and small dams; 30 were selected for performance assessment. Field measurements, surveys, observations and secondary data were used to determine the types and extent of multiple uses of SWI. Questionnaires were administered to 300 SWI users and interviews were conducted with key informants. Performance indicators selected for assessment were availability, capacity, continuity and condition indices. The values for the indices should be between 0 and 1, and performance is considered bad if the value is 0.5 or below. The availability of water ranged from fair to good (0.60 < Iav < 0.99). The capacity of SWI was generally poor (0.19 < Icap < 0.39). The continuity of water supply ranged from bad to sufficient (0.25 < Icont < 0.88) and the condition of SWI varied from poor to sufficient (0.40 < I < 0.70). The perceived benefits were found to be a major influencing factor to communities‟ willingness to maintain the SWI. Water availability was reduced due to dysfunctional SWI in the communities which resulted in increased density of users on those that are functional, further increasing the wear and tear and frequent breakdowns. Continuity of SWI was insufficient for multiple purposes and the communities resort to unsafe alternative water sources, thus creating health risks. Continuity of water supply was disrupted by lack of appropriate management structures and financial arrangements for maintenance in the rural communities. The condition was good where there has been NGO intervention in maintenance. The overall performance was generally poor with capacity as the major setback. It is recommended that water availability for specific areas must be established before multiple use projects are implemented and/or promoted and appropriate technologies for multiple use systems should be installed in conformity with the needs and preferences of the communities.
SubjectRural water supply
Small-scale Water Infrastructure