An investigation into the levels and forms of communications and community participation in the implementation of the Lusaka water supply, sanitation and drainage project

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Kanyanga, Namatama Ruth
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The University of Zambia
This research was conducted on the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in support of the Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage Project (LWSSD). The total amount of funding for the agreement to be implemented by the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) – Zambia is US $355 million. The LWSSD project is been implemented in selected parts of the city of Lusaka. In order for the project to be known and supported by the people of Zambia, there is need to share information about the nature and extent of this project to segmented populations through various media channels within and beyond Lusaka. The main objective of the study was to examine levels and forms of communication and community participation in the implementation of water supply, sanitation and drainage project in Lusaka. The method used for the research was both quantitative and qualitative. A total of 100 questionnaires were administered to respondents in Mtendere while In– depth interviews were conducted among staff from MCA – Zambia and a community leader. The study found that most of the respondents were aware of the project and had received specific messages about it. 60 % of the respondents indicated to have learnt about the project through Face to Face interaction. However the respondents said there was low participation in terms of message design, research and information dissemination. Only 16 % indicated to have taken part in message designing and 29 % in information dissemination. In essence, this research concludes that while information was given to the community about the project, the community did not fully participate. The community is on the receiving and have accepted that the project takes place because of the nature of messages given to them. The researcher recommended that implementers engage the community more and embrace their ideas if there is to be ownership of development projects. Bottom–up approach to communication and participation is necessary for the success of the project. There is need to follow up on the willingness to take action through connecting piped water and constructing flushable toilets if the success of the project is to be fully measured on the part of the community, once the project is done. Otherwise the success of the project cannot be measured.
Water supply--Sanitation--Zambia , Water supply--Community participation--Zambia