Rethinking Appropriate Technology for Rural Water Supply in Semi Arid Regions of Zimbabwe

Onalenna Gwate


Appropriate technology, conventional water supply technologies, institutions


The present study sought to determine the appropriateness of conventional water supply technologies (boreholes/ deep wells) by determining the presence and functionality of existing drinking water sources in Gwanda district, Zimbabwe. Research methodology entailed the land systems approach. A total of five wards representing all environmental gradients in the district were selected and a household questionnaire was administered and five focus group discussions were also done in the five wards. Quantitative data from the questionnaire was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. The majority used protected water sources, albeit seasonal, resorting to open sources during the dry season. The opportunity cost for collecting water was high and this had serious ramifications to other livelihood activities. Alternative water sources were limited. There was also a dearth of robust institutions for community based water source management. The ratio of people per water point was also far too high. It was concluded that lack of appropriate technology for rural water supply in semi arid regions undermined access to safe and clean water. In order to increase access to water supply in semi arid regions appropriate technologies such as river sand dam abstraction systems have to be adopted.

Important Links:

Go Back