Citizen Participation for Successful Village Water Supply

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 8, Pg. 68-70

Document Type: Feature article


In developing nations, two keys to the success of village water supply projects are citizen planning and the use of the appropriate technology. The two are related. Involvement of citizens during project planning and construction ensures they get the kind of system they need, can afford and know how to repair: a water supply they will want to use and maintain. In Mexico, a cooperative effort by the Mexican government, CARE, WHO and AFSC resulted in an effective village water supply. In Malawi, Africa, a local agency demonstrated on a small scale that water could be piped to the village; the villagers subsequently extended the project to a much larger size. The key to the success of both projects was public participation. Engineers can do the technical planning for a project, but citizen participation must be included for effective utilization and management.

Subject Headings: Developing countries | Water supply | Project management | Water supply systems | Team building | Government | Water pipelines | Pipe sizes | Africa | Mexico | Malawi

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