Since 2001, The Gash Barka Zoba Administration and UNHCR have jointly carried out both on-ground works and capacity building activities for the provision and long-term supply of water to Eritrean returnees and their host communities. This paper presents the range the water supply projects and complementary capacity building activities implemented to date and those still needed for returnees. The need for continued and increased capacity building activities is highlighted in order to achieve the sustainable operation of water supply projects and the responsible management of groundwater resources for all beneficiaries. Constraints and lessons learnt from implementing and observing the operation of village/community supply projects are outlined along with recommendations to enhance and strengthen capacity building activities to maximize achieving ownership and sustainable operation of community water supply projects.
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