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This study was set to assess the aspects of capacity building that influence the performance of
Water Resource Users Associations in Tharaka-Nithi County. Previous studies carried out in
Kenya on management of community projects show that the condition of many of these projects
was between poor and pathetic. Poor management and coordination, partnerships, institutional
funding, poor project leadership, lack of transparency and accountability, lack of participation
and ownership of the WRUA and high illiteracy rate leading to low technology adoption were
cited as possible factors that influence performance of community based projects. The purpose of
the study was to access how community capacity building influences the performance of water
resource users association in water catchment management in Tharaka Nithi County. The
objectives of the study were:-to access whether improved education and training of members of
Water Resource Users Associations, community coordination and management, and availability
and accessibility to resources are related to improved WRUA performance in water catchment
management. Descriptive and correlation research method were used in this research.
Descriptive design was used to collect data in order to answer questions concerning the current
status of the water resources users association. Since this study aimed at clarifying relationships,
correlation research was used. The instruments used included the use of structured questionnaires
and interviews. Interviews were conducted to give in–depth information which was omitted by
the questionnaire. The survey was administered to 115 respondents out of 693 members of the
nine WRUAs in Tharaka Nithi County. The data collected was analyzed using statistical package
for social sciences (SPSS) and Excel spread sheet. The data output is presented in form of tables
and description. The researcher also used the Karl Pearson`s product moment correlation
analysis to access the relationship between the variables. The study found out that there were
very strong relationships in various aspects of education and training, coordination and
management, availability and accessibility of resources with performance of WRUAs in water
catchment management. The key ones being high positive relationship between the numbers of
executive committees with education levels of at least secondary level and number of WRUA
community members trained with the performance of the WRUA. The study also found out that
various types of trainings offered to the WRUA have varying influence on performance. There is
also a strong positive correlation between accrued WRUA benefits and performances of the
WRUA. It was also found out that WRUAs that have high number of volunteers working for
them were performing poorly. The study also found out that WRUAs required diversified
consistent support e.g. technical, infrastructure and equipments to improve their performance.
The study recommends that there is need for WRUAs to be capacity built not only in training but
on skills on networking, information and knowledge management. The WRUAs also requires
support in technical, infrastructure, equipment and human in the early stages of WRUA
operation in order to make them self sustaining.