Communication strategies used by Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company for Community participation in the Maiteneke Sewer rehabilitation project in Matero Township
Phiri, Jaman Francis
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This report is based on a study that sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the communication strategies used by Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company for community participation in the Maiteneke sewer network project in Matero Township. The case has been analyzed with a bias to the nature and functionality of the communication process involved so as to establish linkages between varying variables. The report has investigated with respect to this particular case the importance of the communication strategy, its nature and utility. Zambia has observed improvements in the provision of clean water: The proportion of the population without access to an improved water source has decreased from 51 percent in 1990 to 36.9 percent in 2010. However, the proportion of the population without access to improved sanitation facilities is not getting any better. On the contrary, it worsened from 26 percent in 1991 to 67.3 percent in 2010 (UNDP, 2013 p.12). The study used mixed research methods. Most particularly, convergent parallel mixed methods were used. Following Creswell’s (2014) description of convergent parallel mixed methods as a method which merges quantitative and qualitative data in order to provide a comprehensive analysis of the research problem, the current study collected quantitative and qualitative data at the same time and integrated into the interpretation of overall results. . Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected using questionnaires, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis. The research findings indicate that, despite having a comprehensive communication plan in place, the only channels used by LWSC were; community meeting, dropping of letters and door to door awareness campaign to deliver the messages to the target audience. The study has brought out some important findings, among them is the fact that the respondent’s area of residence which is also a reflection of the educational levels attained and economic status did not seem to have an influence on their understanding of the communication strategies used for them to participate in the project. v There were varying perceptions of the community with regards to communication strategies used by LSWC with some participants (58%) indicating that they were satisfied with communication strategies used while (42%) were not satisfied with the strategies. The means of communication were not very successful and the whole project needed to improve a lot in terms of communication strategies.