Impact assessment of a solar powered water treatment project
Water treatment technologies are seen as the best alternative to be considered for adoption in developing countries where access to portable water supply that is free of pathogens is yet a challenge. This study intended to assess impact brought forth by a project, which employed a water treatment technology in rural settings of Morogoro Region in Tanzania. The project used solar photovoltaic panels to trap solar energy, converted to mechanical power to treat water with the help of sterilization ultraviolet membrane. A comparative analysis was used as an assessment framework to study impacts of the project with respect to the quality of approach used during the project life cycle. Determinants of impacts took into account social, economic and environment aspects whereas determinants of the quality of approaches taken considered six elements which are: character of participation; success, nature of institution and capacity building efforts; diversity, multiplicity and adaptability of ideas promoted by the project; accounting for heterogeneity and dynamism; understanding and use of local knowledge, skills, initiative and constraints; and recognizing the influence of external conditions, markets and policies. Results indicate that the project has intervened positively in the provision of safe portable water to the selected project sites. The quality of approaches taken had profound effect to the delivered impacts. These impacts are seen in the reduced recurring outburst of water-borne diseases such as typhoid and diarrhea. Another impact observed is in the downturn to a certain extent in the use of wood fuel for boiling. Reduced recurring of waterborne diseases has boosted pupils’ attendance at school. Furthermore, the study argues that adoption of water treatment technologies in rural settings has a potential to conserve the environment, improve health of people through the provision of safe portable water, which ultimately contribute to rural development. However, sustainability of the installed purification systems is in question if it will continue to function over the long run. Observed barriers are lack of solid economic means for sustaining operations and maintenances. ...
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