Community Based Rural Drinking Water Supply System (Sustainability Challenge in Kannahipuram CBO Scheme)

  • M Riswan Ph.D. Research Scholar (Commonwealth), Department of Sociology, University of Kerala, India & Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
  • P Ishaq Sociologist, Rural Water & Sanitation Section, National Water Supply & Drainage Board, Regional Office - Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
Keywords: CBO, RWSS, Sustainability, Shallow-well, water quality


Rural Water Supply (RWS) system implemented and maintained by a community-Based Organization (CBO) adopting a participatory approach, which is considered a useful strategy to supply safe drinking water to the people, especially in rural segments of the country in a sustainable manner. This study was carried out based on Kannahipuram CBO managed RWS schemein Alayadivembu Divisional Secretariat Division (DSD). The study gathered primary data through field-based interviews with key stakeholders in CBO managed water supply system and field observations. Also, it collected secondary data from statistical reports from NWSDB, RWS, and CBOs, etc. The findings have been interpreted mainly based on the descriptive qualitative method. This study examines the extent to which the community participation influences community ownership of rural water projects and its sustainability in the Kannahipura scheme. This paper also sets out to analyze the impacts of the participatory approach in the rural water supply system using qualitative and quantitative information that compiled project data with field surveys. The study found that the participatory approach was effectively exercised in Kannahipuram CBO managed water supply scheme to ensure a sustainable system at the village level. However, it was observed that the quality of water is not in a drinkable condition for drinking purposes, and the water source has been contaminated, particularly in the Shallow-well due to climate change, increased demand, and seasonal drought in the region. Hence, this study suggests improving the water quality by using advanced treatment processes to provide safe drinking water at a drinkable level through CBO operation and community participation successfully and effectively.

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