Thirty-five percent of Kenyan children under age five exhibit significant malnutrition and stunted growth. This is particularly notable in the nine KIWASH- targeted counties, where, according to county-level data, stunting is as high as 45.8 percent in Kitui County. To address this challenge, KIWASH is supporting various county level initiatives that improve access to nutritious food and reduce the levels of chronic diarrhea among young children, particularly in the first 1,000 days.
KIWASH’s efforts focus on initiating training, technical and financial support for, agriculture extension workers and farmer groups to establish kitchen gardens and use of simple irrigation technologies. The private sector is engaged to promote the production of nutrient dense, diverse foods by improving access to water through the use of small-scale irrigation and kitchen garden technologies at the household level. Demonstration sites at health facilities are managed by trained community health volunteers (CHVs) or by the community units attached to the hospitals, while at the farmer group level they are set up on lead farmers’ plots and managed by group members.
A key component of training and farmer capacity building focuses on linking farmers to agribusinesses that can provide improved seed varieties, demonstrate and extend good agricultural practices, and supply and install new technologies.
In addition, the project works with several health facilities and county health officials to upgrade ORT corners and increase hygiene and nutrition awareness in communities.
- Improving integration of WASH, Maternal Child Health and nutrition services
- Design and implement strategies to improve access to technology by linking farmers to input suppliers, agribusinesses and financial markets.
- Establish demonstration sites to showcase irrigation technologies and promote local adoption.
- Integrate and promote essential nutrition and WASH interventions.
- Strengthen the evidence base and programming guidance for coordinated WASH-nutrition programming