- Population: 605,576 people according to the 2019 population census.
- Water access: 15 percent of the population accessing water from improved sources.
- Latrine access: 83 percent accessing basic latrine while 16 percent accessing improved latrines.
- County water service providers: Gusii Water and Sanitation Company (GWASCO)
- 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
Water service provision in the county strained as a result of budgetary constraints, low capacity of staff and lack of policies and bills to anchor services into law. Meanwhile, at the utility level, constrains to proper service provision comprised; high pumping costs due to over aged pump systems and poor design, non-cost recovery tariffs, high non-revenue water at 46 percent, high number of illegal connections and inactive connections and lack of properly constituted corporate management team. On sanitation, low latrine coverage stood at less than 50 percent on average in all the villages.
USAID KIWASH’s interventions
Supporting access to clean water
To improve access to improved water services, KIWASH prioritized assistance to GWASSCO. This was inspired by the utility’s strong commitment to apply KIWASH’s support to expand household connections and extend their networks to unserved communities within their service areas. Further KIWASH supported 2 strategic water projects (Ikonge and Machururiati community water projects) through infrastructure development at a total cost of USD 279,774. KIWASH also worked with 21 WASH enterprises to strengthen their business operations for improved and expanded services.
Promoting access to basic and improved sanitation and hygiene
In 2017, KIWASH commenced sanitation and hygiene activities in Nyamira County. This saw 165 villages in five sub-counties (Borabu, Masaba North, Manga, Nyamira North and Nyamira South) targeted for support. KIWASH’s collaboration with partners involved, community led total sanitation, social behavior change communication and sanitation marketing. To support access to improved sanitation, KIWASH trained a total of 41 artisans on construction of SAFI latrines and installation of SATO products. Further, KIWASH identified four existing community groups to embrace sanitation entrepreneurship.
Promoting environmental sustainability
KIWASH worked with the Water Resources Authority (WRA), Kenya Forest Services (KFS), communities, GWASCO, county government departments and water service providers to protect water and watershed resources. This was to build specific capacity to adapt to climate change, minimize waste and expand water and sanitation services. Additionally, KIWASH supported two WRUAs (Upper Gucha and Awach Kasipul) to implement environmental conservation activities in collaboration with the WRA and other key stakeholders in the environmental sector.
- 27,267 people accessing basic and improved water courtesy of USAID’s assistance.
- 20,016 people accessing basic and improved sanitation.
- 125 villages declared as open defecation free.
- 12 springs (Kochola, Komwadho, Nyakeyo, Riamathayo, Riameru, Riamongare, Riamoruabe, Riarita, Riasoko, Riatoni, Riamakana and Riomwansa) protected to improve water access.
- 2 tree nurseries established at Awach Kasipul and Upper Gucha WRUAs.
The county in numbers