Nyalenda is one of the low income neighbourhood in Kisumu County. It is home to about 12,000 people and with that always came the perennial water shortage. Taps would constantly run dry and people would either rely on water vendors or other sources to which the safety of the water was always in doubt. This however changed as a result of collaboration between Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project and Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO). Clean and safe water now runs from the former dry ones all day all week.
“We are very grateful to KIWASH and KIWASCO for rehabilitating and laying an over 3 kilometer pipeline and which is also larger hence the supply is higher,” says Abdillahi Swaleh, Administrator at Pamoja Uzalendo Self Help Group.
According to Abdillahi, the success of the project is not only by having available water but the many livelihoods transformed. Over 40 women have been employed to operate all the water points managed by the group. The completion of the project also comes as a welcome relief to the group since they had always faced numerous challenges from the day they started operations in 2011.
“We are equally delighted as a group since we are able to provide reliable water to our consumers. Our revenue has gone up since the cost of connection have dropped. Initially, when the taps went dry or when we could not secure a constant supply, most people opted to get their water from street vendors. In most cases this water is expensive and their quality is unknown. As a ripple effect of the project, water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid have significantly reduced. Also communities are able to save more as the water is cheaper and closer to them.” Adds Swaleh.
The total success of the project can also be attributed to the selfless contribution of community members. This has been through being engaged voluntarily on the project and also allowing water lines way leaves to pass through their property for the better good of the larger Nyalenda.