- Population: 1,867,579 people according to the 2019 population census.
- Water access: 38 percent of the population accessing water from improved sources.
- Latrine access: 83 percent accessing basic latrine while 16 percent accessing improved latrines.
- County water service providers: Kakamega County Water and Sewerage Company (KACUWASCO).
- Other key partners: County ministries of Environment, Health and Water, Lake Victoria Water Works Development Agency, Water Resources Authority, water resource users associations (WRUAs) and water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) stakeholders actors.
The water and sanitation challenge
WASH enterprises in the county suffered from unreliable water supply, weak complaint and feedback mechanism, questionable staff integrity, competition from water vendors, infrastructure vandalism, inefficient billing and revenue collection systems, weak branding and inadequate communication tools. Further, schemes operated by KACUWASCO did not operate optimally mainly due to operational inefficiencies, including high non-revenue water levels, estimated at 53 percent. In terms of sanitation, three out of four homes in the rural areas utilized a pit latrine while 15 percent still practiced open defecation.
USAID KIWASH’s interventions
Supporting access to clean water
KIWASH worked closely with KACUWASCO, 24 WASH enterprises and the county’s water and health ministries to sustainably improve access to drinking water and sanitation services through training in good governance, business and financial planning, managing for operational efficiencies, monitoring progress and encouraging peer to peer learning. Besides, KIWASH supported five county and community water supply projects (Butere Town, Kakamega Town, Khwisero North Community Water, Matunda Water and Soy) through infrastructure development at a total cost of USD 1,081,461.
Promoting access to basic and improved sanitation and hygiene
In three sub-counties of Likuyani, Lugari and Malava, KIWASH sought to enhance access to and use of basic and safely managed sanitation and hygiene services, strengthen capacity of stakeholders and systems to sustainably deliver improved and inclusive sanitation and hygiene services and promote innovative sanitation financing approaches for rural communities. As such, KIWASH triggered 225 villages to gain access to basic and improved sanitation. The interventions saw the training of 34 artisans on construction of low cost sanitation technologies and 10 community groups supported to undertake sanitation entrepreneurship.
Promoting environmental sustainability
At the community level, KIWASH strengthened the capacity of Isikhu and Lusumu WRUAs to protect springs and address environmental challenges such as encroachment from farming activities, water contamination through surface run-off, animal waste and other domestic activities. KIWASH further worked with the Kenya Forest Service to train WRUAs on tree and nursery management and guide nursery construction teams on good management practices.
- 136,724 people accessing basic and improved water courtesy of USAID’s assistance.
- 28,030 people accessing basic and improved sanitation.
- 226 villages declared as open defecation free.
- 19 springs (Abuyeka, Adongo, Bungayo, Elisha, Kasiti, Kutama, Likare, Lumbasi, Mioko, Mukhenge, Mulari, Mutanda, Shirula, Shitokani, Siminyu, Simon Akala, Tabu, Wesusa and Zachayo) protected to improve water access.
- 2 tree nurseries established at Isikhu and Lusumu WRUAs.
The county in numbers