Author: PlanAfric, Bulawayo
Gwanda Integrated Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project was launched in 1995 and completed in 2000. It sought to provide a range of new and rehabilitated water and sanitation facilities to the people living in 19 out of the 23 wards of Gwanda RDC. The approach was to involve and empower communities, decentralise management to the RDC and seek a flexible and innovative approach, wherever possible. The project was supported by the Australian Government (AusAID) in the first instance and then UNICEF-Australia. UNICEF Zimbabwe played a key role in facilitating, supporting and monitoring the project. Gwanda District is situated in the dry and drought-prone Matabeleland South Province in south-west Zimbabwe. It has a population of approximately 150,000 and its economy is dominated by agriculture, with important mining operations in gold and cement to the north.
This evaluation study of the Gwanda Integrated Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (IRWSS) Project is intended to review the performance of the project and to make an assessment of how effective it was in reaching its targets and in realising its goal and purpose. Since the project is now completed, it is not the intention of this study to make detailed recommendations on the operational aspects of the programme. A mid-term evaluation in 1997 provided such a study and many of its recommendations were taken up and helped to make the project the success that it can be generally stated to have been. Where there are recommendations, they are intended to point the way to improved practice in the future.
The Logical Framework provided in the Project Design Document, which set out the goal, purposes, outputs, inputs and activities, was also used as an overall guide to what the project was trying to achieve. Where changes were made to the Logical Framework during the course of the project (as in April 1997), these were noted, and the evaluation focus altered accordingly.
In order to make an assessment of all of the intended outputs of the project, it was necessary to go beyond the study of secondary documents and collect field data. The communities were selected with the assistance of the RDC, so as to reflect a balance of the different types of areas within the district and of sufficient spread, to enable general conclusions to be drawn. Recorded discussions were held with 20 water point committees. More than 100 Blair latrines were inspected; 45 water points were also inspected; 2 piped water schemes were visited; and Village Pump Mechanics were consulted. 4 schools were visited and discussions were held with some school health masters and the headmasters
Interviews were also held with the Provincial Field Officer DDF Water and with members of the DWSSC individually, and a meeting was also held with the whole DWSSC team: Chief Executive Officer, Former Project Officer, Project Officer, Assistant Projects Officer, VCWs and teachers at some of the schools visited.
A one-day workshop was held with the district and provincial water and sanitation sub-committee. This was also attended by other GRDC staff, councillors, NAC, UNICEF. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the initial findings of the work and provide an opportunity for participants to make amendments to the conclusions.
Findings and Conclusions:
The Gwanda RDC assumed the role of manager and leader of the project under a decentralised approach, and demonstrated its capacity to handle large sums of money under this project in a transparent and efficient manner. The RDC performed its role very well and demonstrated that the decentralised approach was in fund disbursement, management of the project vehicle fleet and promoting good team partnership.
The constant support and advice from the government (NCU) and UNICEF Harare, and the donor's maintained presence, played a crucial role in building the capacity of the RDC and the DWSSC, and in encouraging the team to ensure the overall success of the project.
There was increased community participation in all aspects of the project but improvements in the socio-economic and health conditions may have been masked by the general adverse factors of the macro-economic climate and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
All community mobilisation and organisation targets were exceeded, except for land use planning due to the lack of capacity within Agritex. Extensive consultations were not done in some activities as some important sectors of the community were left out.
All water facility targets were realised and exceeded within the project time span, taking into account the individually-financed household boreholes' high level of community awareness.
There was evidence of enhanced hygiene behaviour change in the community and increased demand for hygiene-enabling facilities, though a full KABP survey would be required to measure the specific hygiene behaviour changes.
Latrine construction was a considerable success, especially the NGO's pioneered cheaper versions of the Blair latrine. There was high-level community involvement and financial contribution realised in this activity more than in the water supply activities.
All the facilities and technologies used in water and sanitation projects should be agreed with the beneficiaries. Information should be made available concerning the advantages and disadvantages of the different equipment, and communities engaged in the design of the water point and its headworks.
Future water and sanitation projects should include a capacity building component to train and encourage villagers to open and maintain savings and bank accounts, to secure the long-term survival of the water points, and to develop ancillary projects.
Communities should also be encouraged to make monetary contributions to all new water points so that the basic level 1 provision may be maintained or even developed to level 2.
A model system for community-based monitoring of water and sanitation facilities should be introduced from the outset of any new project. The model will seek to establish formal ways of keeping records of key elements of the use and deterioration of the facility, and actions designed to arrest such problems.
The ownership of, and responsibility for, the care and maintenance of school-based water points need to be established at the outset and, if necessary, a written contract established.
All sanitation facilities (Blair latrines) being constructed have hand-washing facilities.
Future water and sanitation projects should include a training component designed to equip RDCs with the necessary expertise in hiring and managing private contractors.
Future projects should utilise the Logical Framework as a tool of management and community participation. Targets should be clearly identified, together with means of verification. The Logical Framework should be used as a flexible tool and adapted throughout the project as circumstances demand. All stakeholders, including the beneficiaries, should be involved in the development and adaptation of the Logical Framework.
That the decentralised approach with the RDC taking the leading role was empowering, cost effective and improved project performance in terms of not only outputs but impact.
Good coordination and team building are essential for the successful implementation of projects.
Communities are willing to be partners in development and are prepared to contribute.
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WES - Enabling Environment