This study investigated community participation in rural water supply projects in Nyasa district as a case study, where several community water supply projects have been initiated by the government. Projects have always collapsed once the country government pulls out, cases attached to low community participation were always experienced as now the study intends to explore the influencing factors and challenges for participation. The study was guided by the given research objectives named to explore the influencing factors and challenges for community participation in rural water supply projects in the study area. Nonexperimental design was used to collect data in a study area. The respondents were stratified in two categories such as the project beneficiaries and key informants. Purposive sampling technique was used to select key informants while simple random sampling was used to select household heads benefited with the project. A sample size of 98 was selected from a target population of 4,967 household heads. The interview questionnaires, observation through checklist and documentary review were used to collect both primary and secondary data. The collected data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative techniques by IBM SPSS v.20 to ensure triangulation. The study concluded that majority of the community members participated in water supply projects in implementation phase by material incentives than in other levels, the community awareness was a significant factor that influenced negatively in people`s participation and financial resources is a significant barrier for the community to participate in water development project. Then the study recommended that community members have to be actively involved in all stages of the project life cycle including decision making in planning, frequent seminars and workshops for building awareness and empowering women on the importance of participating among and budget should be allocated and timely disbursed to facilitate the community participation in water supply projects.
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