- Population:136 million according to the 2019 population census.
- Water access: 36 percent of the population accessing water from improved sources.
- Latrine access: 63 percent accessing basic latrine while 17 percent accessing improved latrines.
- County water service providers: Kitui Water and Sanitation Company (KITWASCO) and the Kiambere-Mwingi Water and Sanitation Company (KIMWASCO).
- Other key partners: County ministries of Environment, Health and Water, Water Resources Authority, water resource users associations (WRUAs) and water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) stakeholders actors.
The water and sanitation challenge
The two WSPs experienced numerous challenges such as high non-revenue water and low water coverage in the service area that strained their operations. For example, KIMWASCO registered high electricity bills that constituted 41 percent of its operations and maintenance expenses. Further, the county is prone to drought that compounds the water challenges.
USAID KIWASH’s interventions
Supporting access to clean water
KIWASH supported five water projects; Kithambangii, Mumbuni Katalwa, Musengo, Tharaka and Tyaa River through water infrastructure development. Taken together, these USD 902,860.72 investments enabled 81,061 people gain access to reliable water services. Further, KIWASH compounded these infrastructural support with coaching and mentoring support to enable them improve, expand and sustain water services.
Promoting access to basic and improved sanitation and hygiene
KIWASH helped create demand for basic sanitation and hygiene as well as improved sanitation through community led total sanitation and sanitation marketing approaches in 55 villages. To increase this demand for improved sanitation, KIWASH worked with public health departments and other sanitation stakeholders. Besides, KIWASH reached 11,220 people with messaging on improved hygiene and sanitation messages and as a result 1,338 households put up hand washing stations with a cleansing agent next to their latrines.
Promoting environmental sustainability
In the county, KIWASH supported Lower Tyaa and Upper Thua through capacity building sessions that included climate resilient water security planning. The trainings aimed at increasing WRUAs’ capacities to address climate change challenges in water resource management at sub-catchment levels. Besides, KIWASH supported the two entities through tree nurseries establishments to produce water friendly tree seedlings for catchment conservation.
- 179,350 people accessing basic and improved water courtesy of USAID’s assistance.
- 6,565 people accessing basic and improved sanitation.
- 55 villages in Kitui West and Mwingi Central sub-counties declared as open defecation free.
- 2 tree nurseries established at Lower Tyaa and Upper Thua WRUAs.
The county in numbers