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From the provision of basic needs to the enhancement of local governance : a case study of the impact of a local NGO's process on the people of Kitui district, Kenya

This study gives a detailed account of SASOL (a local NGO) processes in making water available to the people of an arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) area; Kitui District, Kenya; and how the community felt about these processes. The overall theme was to examine whether SASOL, fitted into the post-development theory. The main problem in the area is that there is inadequate water for a large percentage of the population, with only a few permanent water sources. SASOL's objective is to 'create a network of water points using shallow wells and sand-storage dams, so that no family need walk more than 2 km to get an assured supply.' The aim is to provide production water so that socio-economic chances can be enhanced. These technologies are easy to construct, operate and cheap to maintain. The maintenance and operational needs meets the local expertise and resource endowment. The community is involved at all levels of the project, SASOL's only task is to provide technical assistance in the form of a trained mason and to seek financial help for cement and reinforcing that are beyond the community's resources. They also provide a variety of training such as resource management, sanitation and hygiene and leadership skills. This research looks at the different stakeholders -NGOs, local officials, community- involved in the implementation of SASOL's activities and how they view this process and what changes they have seen and experienced. It was found that sand dam technology provides a direct basic need (water) but also indirect ones, such as food, shelter, and health as well. However, one of the major adversaries to gaining long-term sustainable livelihood is the access to these basic needs and other resources; this can be clarified using environmental entitlement mapping. SASOL is aware of this lack of access through institutions and so training is provided to try and influence power structure change. SASOL fits into the post-development idealism but they have done this without being aware. That there are factors beyond the initial intervention that limits individuals from benefiting from it, means that alternatives can be found to decrease those that are excluded from access. This can explain why some past interventions failed because they did not look beyond the initial impact on the community.

TitleFrom the provision of basic needs to the enhancement of local governance : a case study of the impact of a local NGO's process on the people of Kitui district, Kenya
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsJeune, H.
Pagination208 p. : 2 boxes, 4 fig., 4 maps, photogr., 5 tab.
Date Published2003-04-01
PublisherUniversity of Amsterdam
Place PublishedAmsterdam, The Netherlands
Keywordscase studies, community participation, impact, kenya kitui, non-governmental organizations, poverty, research, sdipar, water supply
Abstract

This study gives a detailed account of SASOL (a local NGO) processes in making water available to the people of an arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) area; Kitui District, Kenya; and how the community felt about these processes. The overall theme was to examine whether SASOL, fitted into the post-development theory. The main problem in the area is that there is inadequate water for a large percentage of the population, with only a few permanent water sources. SASOL's objective is to 'create a network of water points using shallow wells and sand-storage dams, so that no family need walk more than 2 km to get an assured supply.' The aim is to provide production water so that socio-economic chances can be enhanced. These technologies are easy to construct, operate and cheap to maintain. The maintenance and operational needs meets the local expertise and resource endowment. The community is involved at all levels of the project, SASOL's only task is to provide technical assistance in the form of a trained mason and to seek financial help for cement and reinforcing that are beyond the community's resources. They also provide a variety of training such as resource management, sanitation and hygiene and leadership skills. This research looks at the different stakeholders -NGOs, local officials, community- involved in the implementation of SASOL's activities and how they view this process and what changes they have seen and experienced. It was found that sand dam technology provides a direct basic need (water) but also indirect ones, such as food, shelter, and health as well. However, one of the major adversaries to gaining long-term sustainable livelihood is the access to these basic needs and other resources; this can be clarified using environmental entitlement mapping. SASOL is aware of this lack of access through institutions and so training is provided to try and influence power structure change. SASOL fits into the post-development idealism but they have done this without being aware. That there are factors beyond the initial intervention that limits individuals from benefiting from it, means that alternatives can be found to decrease those that are excluded from access. This can explain why some past interventions failed because they did not look beyond the initial impact on the community.

NotesBibliography: p. 189-195
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The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.