One of Kenya’s smallest non-urban counties, Nyamira County encompasses 900 square kilometers and is home to nearly 700,000 people. Nyamira County is tucked between Homa Bay to the north, Kisii County to the west, Narok County to the south, and Kericho and Bomet Counties to the east.
Nearly half the population (49 percent) uses improved water sources, which might include protected springs, boreholes, piped water to kiosks or homes, and rainwater collection. Two-thirds of the population use improved sanitation facilities.
Gusii Water and Sanitation Company (GWASCO), the county’s main water service provider serves 253,022 people out of a total population of 704,936 representing service coverage of approximately 37%. The utility operates five schemes in Kisii County (Kisii, Gesusu, Ogembo, Tabaka and Birongo) and three in Nyamira County (Nyamira, Nyansiongo and Keroka) that are headed by area Managers. The utility has a total of 14,600 connections in both counties with 5,800 being active and 8,800 dormant. Nyamira County has a total of 4,264 connections with 1,710 being active and 2,554 dormant while Kisii has 4,090 active connections and 6,246 dormant connections due to disconnections and low water production.
Key KIWASH interventions in Nyamira County include:
Water Access and Distribution
- Supporting Gusii Water and Sanitation Company to improve efficiency of business operations, serve customers better, reach new customers and qualify for financing to expand services.
- Strengthening the capacity of smaller water service providers in rural areas to address performance challenges, improve services and expand their customer base.
- Promoting the sustainable management of rural community water projects by developing service delivery models, and then supporting the most high-potential projects.
Governance and Policy
- Developing relevant policies that support improved sanitation standards across the county, including the safe collection and disposal of waste from pit latrines.
- Advancing a policy agenda that responds to the Nyamira County government’s mandate for water and sanitation services development, with a focus on facilitating access and expansion of WASH services.
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