Community Participation and Non-Governmental Organizations-Funded Rural Water Projects’ Sustainability: A Case of Chamwino District, Dodoma Region, Tanzania


  •   Rose Mgulo

  •   Switbert R. Kamazima


Introduction: Every year, two million people die because of unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene. Children and young women living in rural communities are the most affected groups. To address this problem, NGOs have implemented various water projects across the country but their sustainability is questionable.

Objective: To assess community participation and rural water projects’ sustainability in Chamwino District, Dodoma, Tanzania.

Materials and Methods: The study was exploratory in nature, employing a qualitative approach. In-depth interviewing and focus group discussions methods were used to collect data from the participants. A purposive sampling technique was used to select participants to get their insights on community participation and the sustainability of rural water projects in Chamwino District, Dodoma Region, Tanzania. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis, to embrace community participation in the rural water projects, which can affect their sustainability.

Results: Findings show that lack of community participation, lack of community support, and involvement at various stages of project implementation from the designing, implementation, operation, and monitoring and evaluation through various village water committees are key factors negatively impacting sustainability of rural water projects implemented in Chamwino District.

Conclusions: Effective community participation, community support, and participation from the designing, implementation, operation, and monitoring and evaluation through water committees are key factors to be adhered to for the sustainability of rural water projects in Chamwino District and other areas in Tanzania.

Keywords: Effective community participation, NGO-funded projects, project sustainability, rural water projects, qualitative research, Tanzania


UNICEP/WHO. Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017. Special focus on inequalities. [Internet] 2019 [cited on 2021 December 1] Available from:

Ashley C, Carney D. Sustainable Livelihoods: Lessons from Early Experience, Department for International Development (DFID). London. [Internet] 1999 [cited on 2021 December 1] Available from:,%20Caroline%20Ashley,%20Diana%20Carney%201999.pdf

Singh U. Community participation in the management of public good: myth or reality, case study of two villages in India. ISS Research Paper, The Hague, Holland. 2006.

Black M. Learning what works. a 20-year retrospective view on international water and sanitation cooperation. UNDP-World Bank Water and Sanitation Program. 1998.

Carter RC, Tyrrel SF, Howsam P. Impact and sustainability of community water supply and sanitation programmes in developing countries. Journal of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management. 1999; 13: 292-296.

Gleitsmann BA, Kroma MM, Steenhuis T. Analysis of a rural water supply Project in three communities in Mali: Participation and sustainability. Natural Resources Forum. 2007; 31(2): 142–150.

Harvey PA, Reed RA. Community Managed Water supplies in Africa: sustainable or dispensable? [Internet] 2007 [cited on 2021 December 1] Available from:

Marks SJ, Komives K, Davis J. Community participation and water supply sustainability: evidence from hand pump projects in rural Ghana. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 2014: 1–11.

Korten D. Community Organizations and Rural Development: A Learning Process Approach. Public Administration Review. 2010; 40(5): 480-511.

Slaymaker T, Newborn P. Implementation of Water Supply & Sanitation Programmes under PRSPs: Synthesis of research findings from sub-Saharan Africa. Overseas Development Institute and Water Aid. 2004.

Busiinge C. The impact of donor aided projects through non-governmental organisations on the social and economic welfare of the rural poor: a case study of kabarole research & resource. Ph.D. Thesis. Uganda Martyrs University; 2008.

Jansz S. A study into rural water supply sustainability in niassa province, Mozambique, wateraid. 2011.

Gatari S, Mbabazi M, Shukla JE. Valuation of factors influencing sustainability of water projects in Gahondo: a case of water projects in Muhanga District, Rwanda. European Journal of Business and Social Sciences. 2006; 5(1):129-145.

Haysom A. A Study of the Factors Affecting Sustainability of Rural Water Supplies in Tanzania. [Internet] 2006 [cited on 2020 November 30] Available from: file:///C:/Users/Dell/AppData/Local/Temp/faulty%20distribution%20points%20tanzania.pdf

Mogalakwe M. The use of documentary research methods. African Sociol Rev. 2004; 10(1): 221–30.

Carolyn B, Neale P. Conducting in-depth interviews: a guide for designing and conducting in-depth interviews for evaluation input. Pathfinder International tool series. Watertown. MA. 2006.

Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychol-ogy. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 2006; 3(2): 77-101.

King N. Using templates in the thematic analysis of text. Essential guide to qualitative methods in organizational research. 2004: 257– 270.

Vos RJ. Participation-who owns it? enhancing community participation on bohol island, philippines. Ph.D. Thesis. Massey University; 2005.

TANGO International. Sustainability of rural development projects best practices and lessons learned by IFAD in Asia, occasional papers, knowledge for development effectiveness, Tucson, AR. 2010.


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite
Mgulo, R., & Kamazima, S. R. (2022). Community Participation and Non-Governmental Organizations-Funded Rural Water Projects’ Sustainability: A Case of Chamwino District, Dodoma Region, Tanzania. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences, 4(2), 51–56.