- Population: 987,653 people according to the 2019 population census.
- Water access: 42 percent of the population accessing water from improved sources.
- Latrine access: 81 percent accessing basic latrine while 19 percent accessing improved latrines.
- County water service providers: Wote Water and Sanitation Company (WOWASCO), Kibwezi Makindu Water and Sanitation Company (KIMAWASCO) and Mbooni Water and Sanitation Company (MBONWASCO).
- 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 WSPs faced a number of challenges occasioned by lack of well-established governance structures, corruption hence leading to illegal connections and low revenue collection, high non-revenue water ranging between 29 and 38 percent and political interference. On the other hand, over 100 WASH enterprises/rural schemes lacked proper infrastructure and technical capacity to operate optimally. On sanitation, KIWASH found that 88 percent of households had access to basic sanitation, low handwashing practice among the households and 12 percent of the households used unimproved latrines/practiced open defecation.
USAID KIWASH’s interventions
Supporting access to clean water
KIWASH capacity development and strategic infrastructure investments directly stimulated county WASH resulting in over 75,000 people accessing basic and improved services. Direct USAID investment of USD 807,596 in infrastructure development in eight community water projects (Kaanani Kiboko Water Project, Makutano/Sinai borehole, Masaku Water Supply Project, Mbukoni Kyulu valley borehole, Mbumbuni high lift pumps, Nzueni Borehole Self Help Group, Unoa-Kyemole Water Supply Project and Ukia Swaa Water Project benefited 49,032 people with access to basic water. KIWASH further trained, coached and mentored 182 enterprise staff on water quality management, business and financial planning, customer services and product development, technical operations and administration for improved service provision.
Promoting access to basic and improved sanitation and hygiene
In the county, KIWASH worked with the county department of health to roll out community led total sanitation (CLTS), social behavior change and communication (SBCC) and sanitation marketing interventions. This saw 219 CHVs equipped with skills on interpersonal communication and provided with job aids to undertake SBCC. Besides, KIWASH supported 17 community units to undertake sanitation entrepreneurship. The efforts resulted in Ivingoni-Nzambani Ward with 120 villages became the first ODF ward in the county as a result of joint CLTS interventions.
Promoting environmental sustainability
To promote water catchments protection, KIWASH collaborated with relevant government institutions and four water resources users association-WRUAs (Kiboko, Makindu, Mbimbini and Upper Kambu). This involved; environmental sensitizations, focused group discussions, establishment of tree nurseries in WRUAs to raise water friendly trees, catchment afforestation, digging terraces and grass planting to control soil erosion and creation of buffer zones to discourage catchment encroachment. Further, KIWASH built the capacity of sector institutions to incorporate current and potential future impacts of climate change and variability in planning, maintaining and delivering of WASH services
- 86,456 people accessing basic and improved water courtesy of USAID’s assistance.
- 22,205 people accessing basic and improved sanitation.
- 280 villages declared as open defecation free.
- 15,000 trees planted to preserve catchment areas to improve water access and quality to 7,000 people.
The county in numbers