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Success Stories

Kuleana Project Proves Value of Community-based Approach

A 9-month long initiative funded by the Honolulu Board of Water Supply and executed by Malama o Manoa, culminated with the release of key findings from a survey administered to area residents.

The Kuleana Project set out to effect change of activities and practices of 1,000 households in the Manoa sub-watershed through education and outreach utilizing a community-based grassroots approach to promote water conservation practices and to increase awareness of homeowner practices which contribute to nonpoint source pollution.

Students representing 12 area schools administered a total of 776 surveys in an Initial wave that established a baseline measure. Households were recruited for participation in the survey in a number of ways, including referrals from those affiliated with the project; parents, grandparents or other adult relatives of students; and other interested parties. 68% of those surveyed indicated a desire to receive an educational visit where students explained to householders best practices based on their individual responses to the initial survey. Students used materials developed by Dr. Carl Evensen of the University of Hawaii’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management ( Students then administered a final survey to the same households that participated in the Initial survey. A total of 517 households were interviewed in the final survey.

A subset of 375 surveys representing households in the Manoa sub-watershed was analyzed. Questions centered on eight areas: 1) water conservation; 2) use of fertilizers; 3) green waste; 4) use of chemical pesticides and herbicides; 5) motorized vehicles; 6) pets; 7) recycling; and 8) water run-off.
While Manoa sub-watershed households’ practices generally are not bad to begin with, the survey suggests that educational visits help increase positive practices. It also points to the fact that a community-based initiative is a solid model to modify practices.

Malama o Manoa is a broad-based community organization made up of residents and friends of Manoa Valley whose purpose is to promote community; celebrate our cultural diversity and heritage; and preserve, protect and enhance the special qualities of historic Manoa Valley. It is a non-profit corporation founded in 1992 by a group of citizens concerned about Manoa's future. Additional information on the Kuleana Project can be found at:

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