On May 17, KIWASH hosted USAID Economic Growth Chief, Mark Carrato and the Kakamega County Executive Member of Water, Hon. Robert Sumbi on a protected spring visit in Malava, Kakamega County. The spring is one of 50 under rehabilitation with USAID support to increase water access to 50,000 people in Busia, Kakamega, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira and Siaya counties.
Carrato met with county officials as well as community members and learned from them that the spring protection interventions have resulted in improved water quality, water yield and significantly reduced time in which the community members spend fetching water.
“It is very interesting to note how the community members here not only value the water quality, but also its economic importance; especially women who want use it to engage in entrepreneurial activities such as irrigation farming”, said Carrato.
“We are impressed by the KIWASH model of improving water access from the source while also creating opportunities for the water to be used for income generating activities. This is what my ministry would like to scale up,” said Hon. Sumbi, Kakamega County Water CEC.
KIWASH has designed a comprehensive program with community representatives and the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) to improve access to clean water through protection of existing water catchment areas for improved health and better livelihoods.
Through these efforts, over 300 households in this village alone and 17,000 in the six counties are now accessing improved water quality and quantity, and using less time to fetch water. Critically, the community has formed a spring management committee to lead conservation efforts.