Nairobi County

Four and a half million people live within the 696 square miles of Nairobi City County. Home to the country’s capital city, the county’s population grows each year, and, due to an influx of rural-to-urban migration, is expected to top 5 million by 2019. This high growth rate – more than 2.5 times the global urban growth rate – is straining the city’s existing water and sewerage infrastructure. One-third of the city’s population lives in informal settlements, or slums, where many lack access to clean water and improved sanitation facilities. The city has not been able to expand or upgrade its water and sewerage infrastructure to keep up with the growing population.

Eighty four percent of Nairobi City County residents use improved sources of water, either piped directly to their homes or from a local water kiosk. Residents in slums rely mainly on water kiosks, which charge much higher than household connections. The city’s major water service provider is the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, which suffers from poor water quality and intermittent water shortages. In addition, erosion in the Aberdare Range from deforestation is causing siltation in the company’s reservoirs, resulting in a loss of storage capacity. 

 Key KIWASH interventions in Nairobi County include:

Water Access and Distribution

  • Supporting Nairobi City Water and Sanitation Company (NCWSC) to review strategic plans, set specific targets and develop a monitoring plan.
  • Investment planning for NCWSC to increase opportunities for accessing commercial financing to leverage their current resources.
  • Strengthening the capacity of 28 smaller water service enterprises to address performance challenges, improve services and expand their customer base.
  • Improving water infrastructure, including construction of new water kiosks, rehabilitating ablution blocks, installing more efficient pumps, building new storage tanks, installing zonal and consumer meters to track water usage, and laying new distribution pipelines for various projects in Kamulu, Kibera, Kasarani and Mukuru.

Governance and Policy

  • Developing and implementing the Nairobi County Sanitation Revolving Fund Policy and associated guidelines.
  • Supporting development of WASH laws and policies including finalizing the Nairobi City County Water and Sanitation Policy and Bill.
  • Supporting gender equality mainstreaming in WASH and implementation of gender sensitive work policies.
  • Supporting the development of Mukuru Integrated Development Plan (MIDP) under the Special Planning Area gazette notice by Nairobi City County.

Sanitation and Hygiene

  • Promoting improved sanitation and hygiene practices, such as hand-washing, treatment and safe storage of drinking water, and food hygiene with key audiences, such as mothers and caregivers.
  • Training public health officers and community health volunteers how to build handwashing stations and teach basic sanitation and hygiene practices.


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