The largest county in which KIWASH operates, Kitui County’s semi-arid lands span nearly 30,500 square kilometers starting northeast of Nairobi and stretching toward the Indian Ocean. The south of the county is entirely comprised of Tsavo East National Park.
There are two main water service providers in the county that both suffer high rates of non-revenue water loss, at 70 and 45 percent, respectively. Just over quarter of the population in Kitui County uses improved sources of water, which might include protected springs, boreholes, piped water to kiosks or homes, and rainwater collection. The rest rely on unimproved sources, including collecting water from unprotected wells and springs, streams and ponds, or from a tanker truck or vendor. Access to water is one the major challenges in his hot, drought-prone county.
Key KIWASH interventions in Kitui County include:
Water Access and Distribution
- Supporting Kiambere-Mwingi Water and Sanitation Company and Kitui Water and Sanitation Company to reduce non-revenue water to a level below 25 percent, improve efficiency of business operations, serve customers better, reach new customers and qualify for financing to expand services.
- Developing and launching strategic plan and investment to guide expansion of water services
- Strengthening the capacity of 24 smaller water service providers in rural areas to address performance challenges, improve services and expand their customer base.
- Establishing community associations to manage and protect water sources.
Governance and Policy
- Supporting the Kitui County government in the development of the County Water Bill and ensuring it aligns with the 2010 Kenya Constitution and the 2016 National Water Act.
- Promoting gender mainstreaming in water services management
Sanitation and Hygiene
- Promoting improved sanitation and hygiene practices through Community led social sanitation(CLTS), large scale Social and behavior change messaging (SBCC) and sanitation marketing with the goal of improved uptake and sustained hand washing at critical times, hygienic disposal of feces, food safety, household water treatment and safe storage of drinking water.
- Enhancing capacity of health facilities in integrating Essential WASH actions (EWA) at ORT corners and MCH clinic points by equipping ORT corners, installing large volume hand washing facilities and distributing safe water and hygiene kits to pregnant women and mothers who visit health facilities to encourage adoption of EWAs
- Building capacity of a critical mass of frontline service providers particularly CHVs and CHEWS, artisans, masons and organized community groups to encourage adoption of desired WASH behaviors at household and community level.
- Expanding source water quality protection through spring protection activities, water resource mapping in catchment areas, tree growing and erosion control activities.
- Increasing climate change resilience in drinking water source planning, development and design of systems/services.