Barriers and Enablers of adoption of Rain Water Harvesting Technologies at County Levels: A Case of Matungulu Sub-County, Machakos County Kenya

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Peter Wekesa
John M. Muthama
Jane M. Mutune


Governance mechanisms, Machakos, Matungulu, Rainwater harvesting technologies, Water quality and quantity, Water resource, Water technologies


Rainwater harvesting technology is among the oldest methods of fetching water among households. The demand for water use has grown globally outpacing population growth, and increasingly, many regions are currently reaching levels which water services are unsustainable, especially in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) regions. Inadequate water for domestic and agricultural use has had negative impacts on households in ASAL areas. There has been however introduction of rainwater harvesting technologies that seeks to solve the effects of water scarcity in these areas. Adoption of these technologies depend on factors that hinder/encourage households to adopt them. Matungulu Sub-County is such area that requires adoption of these technologies. Focus group discussions, interviews with key informants, and structured questionnaires were used to collect data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used in data analysis. This involved calculation of arithmetic mean, standard deviation, percentages, frequencies and Analysis of Variance. The study identified 5 rainwater harvesting methods; Surface rainwater harvesting, Rooftop rainwater harvesting, Catchments, First flush and Filter. Findings indicated that overall, a composite mean of 4.04 and a standard deviation of 0.699 of the respondents agreed that incentives from the county government significantly promoted water-harvesting technologies. This was confirmed by a positively strong and significant correlation between integration of Rainwater Harvesting Technologies in the county development agenda. Results of this survey indicate that mostly household heads finance rainwater technologies and County Government initiatives have not been adequately felt. The study findings indicate that the major barriers to adopting rainwater technologies are costs and a lack of expertise on the adoption of these technologies. To ensure the sustainability of rainwater harvesting technologies, the study recommends the development of clear monitoring systems on water collection in the County. Additionally, there is a need to strengthen funding and sensitization on the best technologies to enhance water harvesting.