Accepted paper:

Conflicting and confusing narratives on the SM-ADB water project, Siaya, Kenya


Ornit Avidar (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)

Paper short abstract:

The SM-ADB, the largest water scheme of SIBO, does not provide the volume expected, sparking a blame game among stakeholders. The dynamic of many versions of the truth co-existing, portrays a rupture in responsibility, supervision and accountability measures, generating a lack of sustainability.

Paper long abstract:

The Siaya-Bondo Water and Sanitation Company (SIBO), is the main water service provider in Siaya county, Kenya. The Sidindi Malanga (SM), ADB Flagship Project - SM-ADB scheme, is the largest water scheme of SIBO. The project was devised in 2009, commenced in 2014 and nearly complete in 2018, but found to have many technical problems and complications and currently does not provide the volume expected. A blame game between the many stakeholders has commenced in which each is blamed for their part in the failure. The existence of many claims and several versions about what has gone wrong and who is responsible portrays a rupture in the taking of responsibility, supervision mechanisms, transparency and accountability measures. This dynamic of many versions of the truth co-existing is one that appears over and over in the case study and is a vital dynamic to research, as a component in lack of sustainability of water projects. This presentation is based on 32 interviews of SIBO and Siaya County government officials, users and other stakeholders, as well as visits and 6 observations in SIBO intakes and facilities. Lastly, I analyzed documentation and websites of SIBO, and other stakeholders, for a full picture from all angles of the situation.

panel Pol15
Narratives of technological and infrastructure ruptures