Kakamega County targets water for all by 2022

Kakamega County has an ambitious plan to supply piped water to 80 percent of its close to two million people by 2022. “With the capacity development and infrastructure support we have received from Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project we are ready for take-off.

As a government, we are very confident in achieving this since we have recorded remarkable improvement in our water services. We envision having 750,000 people connected up from 450,000 by the end of 2019.  This total coverage is projected to be 80 percent by the year 2022,” Explained Joseck Maloba, Chief Officer Water.

KIWASH has assisted the county government in developing their policy and legislation that will guide their water services. According to Joseck, to achieve this milestone, the ministry’s budget has been increased from KES 130 million to KES 400 million in the fiscal year 2018-2019. The increased funding will help them carryout a data collection exercise to update their water services information and connect critical institutions such as schools and health center to piped water.

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Running taps, a dream come true for Nyalenda residents

Nyalenda is one of the low income neighbourhood in Kisumu County. It is home to about 12,000 people and with that always came the perennial water shortage. Taps would constantly run dry and people would either rely on water vendors or other sources to which the safety of the water was always in doubt. This however changed as a result of collaboration between Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project and Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO).  Clean and safe water now runs from the former dry ones all day all week.

“We are very grateful to KIWASH and KIWASCO for rehabilitating and laying an over 3 kilometer pipeline and which is also larger hence the supply is higher,” says Abdillahi Swaleh, Administrator at Pamoja Uzalendo Self Help Group.

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Improved latrine restores dignity for the physically challenged

Martin Omorro is 72-year-old and hails from a small rice growing village in Nyando Sub-County, Kisumu County in the Lake Victoria region.  He was a farmer just like many of his neighbors who engaged in rice farming until one fateful morning in 2013 when he was tilling his maize farm and things took a wrong turn. A hippopotamus attacked him. “Things happened so fast, a charged hippo was on the loose and it had spotted me as its target.” Martin remembers precisely. His right leg was severely damaged leaving amputation as the only option.

“After the attack, I had to improvise a way of going to the toilet given my new condition where squatting was totally hindered,” Martin. He ended up getting a plastic chair that he made a hole on the sitting rest and a bucket under it to collect waste. He would later empty the bucket in a latrine and wash it for next usage.  “I had to do all this behind my latrine sometimes under the hot sun and with visitors around. It was very humiliating,” he says.

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New equipment revives a stalled community water project

Muhuru, a small fishing village in West Kenya enjoys close proximity to Lake Victoria. However, the community could not enjoy clean drinking water as their community water project had stalled. “We started Muhuru Community Water and Sanitation (MUCOWAS) in 2012 but experienced enormous challenges soon after. They included high diesel costs, engine breakdowns, gate valve malfunction and pipe breakdowns increasing our no-revenue water loss,” said Enoch Waseka, Chairman of MUCOWAS.

In 2016, the Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project supported MUCOWAS revive its operations. This was through installation of a new water pump, solar power, electricity connection, automatic chlorine dispenser and rehabilitation of water tanks. The laying of new water pipes also enhanced water supply to homes and community institutions.

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KIWASH support boosts a water enterprise in Nairobi

The Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project promotes sustained water supply to communities by supporting 231 community water projects across the country improve their business services.

ESWAND Water Enterprise (acronym derived from the owner’s name-Esther Wandia) is one such beneficiary. The 67-year-old runs the business in Utawala area in the outskirts of Nairobi County. The family business started its operations in 2011 to compliment the work of Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company. The business supplies piped water to nearby households and a water kiosk from a borehole 12 hours a day. Before KIWASH, the business owners had never attended any business training.

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Trained water operators making a huge difference

The Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project has been at the forefront of enhancing water sector reforms in many parts of Kenya. This has been mainly through technical assistance that include capacity building and rehabilitation of infrastructures. These training target employees of water utilities and members of community based water enterprises.

One such county is Siaya in western Kenya region. “Efficient water utilities aligns with one of the top priorities of the Siaya County Government which is to supply clean, safe and reliable water to most of the residents over the next five years. As a result, the government has increased the water budget to KES 390 million,” explains Henry Juma the Acting Director of Water.

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Reviving small water schemes offers hope for thousands in western Kenya

60-year-old Isabella Andeso had given up on ever having reliable water at her home in Khwisero Constituency in western Kenya. The retired teacher moved to Khwisero in 2009 and soon discovered accessing water was a daily challenge. “I used to get water from my neighbor’s well at a fee, or I would go to the river two kilometers away or buy expensive water from a vendor,” she said.

Khwisero Community Water Supply was established in 1990 with support from the Finnish Government. But due to poor management and technical challenges, the project failed after five years, leaving the 10,000 residents of Khwisero reliant on rivers, shallow wells and water vendors for their daily water needs. The community revived the water project in 2009, but, as Project Chairman Charles Omukholo recalls, “it collapsed again in 2012 mainly due to mismanagement and lack of operations and maintenance knowledge.”

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The Miracle Well of Makueni County

In 2003, 200 residents of Mbukoni, Kathiani and Mbotela villages in the heart of Makueni County joined hands to sink a borehole after years of suffering, with women and children trekking up to 10 kilometers to fetch water each day. The collaboration was later named the Chyulu Valley Community Based Organization (CBO). Their main aim was to have a water point closer home.

Little did they know they were creating a business that would one day become a self-sustaining source of livelihoods for the community. Yet after just a few short years, the water supply collapsed due to weak management and low revenues.

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A lakeside community celebrates improved access to safe water

Pamela Adhiambo operates one of the water kiosks owned by the Osieko Nambo Water Project in Siaya CountyCommunity members in the busy fishing village of Osieko Nambo on the shore of Lake Victoria in Siaya County no longer worry about drinking unsafe water. “Though we live next to one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world, piped water to our homes has been unreliable due to erratic and expensive power supply, broken pipes and mismanagement,” says Vincent Omore, secretary of the Osieko Nambo Water Project.

“But thanks to  KIWASH, we can now drink water straight from the tap,” he adds. Over the past year, KIWASH supported the community water business by providing business and financial management capacity training, installing a new 100,000-liter water tank, a solar-powered pump, and an automatic chlorine dispenser. KIWASH also helped lay a six-kilometer pipeline to supply connected households and institutions with water.

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Youth at the forefront of WASH interventions in Nyamira County

Bitabo 1 village in the Masaba North Sub County of Nyamira County is home to 480 people. Of the 90 households in this village, nearly half (43 households) lacked access to latrines. This meant that half the village practiced open defecation and were at risk of preventable diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and dysentery. 

Gilbert Manyibe is a motorcycle taxi driver from Bitabo I village. He is also the community health volunteer (CHV) working in his village to promote improved sanitation and hygiene. “I was touched when I learned that latrine coverage was only 51 percent. I vowed that I would work tirelessly to safeguard the health of my village and future generations,” he said.

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Kiwash Blog

Kakamega County has an ambitious plan to supply piped water to 80 percent of its close to two million people by 2022. “With the capacity...
Nyalenda is one of the low income neighbourhood in Kisumu County. It is home to about 12,000 people and with that always came the perennial...
Martin Omorro is 72-year-old and hails from a small rice growing village in Nyando Sub-County, Kisumu County in the Lake Victoria region.  He was a...

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