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Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

Access to clean water, adequate sanitation, and nutrition is a challenge for the health of many communities in Kenya. VVP’s WASH program enables community residents across four different counties to gain access to improved water, sanitation, and hygiene services and increased access to irrigation and nutrition services. VVP partners with donors, government agencies, and community-based organizations as well as water and sanitation providers to develop viable business plans, improve operations, and facilitate access to financing, all with an aim of improving household sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition.

Sanitation & Hygiene during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Ensuring good hygiene and appropriate WASH practices for everyone, everywhere, will help prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus. This will also reduce the prevalence of other infectious diseases and mitigate collateral damage, beyond public health. 

The VVP WASH program collaborates closely with the departments of water and health at county levels to support the government’s national initiative to scale up sanitation coverage and end open defecation in Kenya. We use the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach which enables community members to improve their communities through actions such as advocating for latrine construction and has proven successful in Kenya. Other approaches we have successfully used as part of our behavior change strategy include faith engagement and peer-to-peer education.

Our program focuses on total inclusion to ensure that water projects consider the needs and security of vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, women and people with disabilities. In order to have equal access to the WASH interventions, these groups need special accommodations, which include program location, accessibility, reliability, and affordability.

Women & Youth for WASH

At Village Vocations Program, we continue to engage youth and women in resolving the critical water, sanitation and hygiene challenges our communities are facing. We do this by providing an platform for youth and women to seek and lead a wide range of WASH solutions; from behavior change to the increased accountability of WASH Projects.

Youth-Led WASH Campaigns in schools

Youth have taken a leading role in creating awareness on safe water and sanitation facilities in schools as well as undertaking school campaigns that promote practices that help to prevent water and sanitation-related diseases. Therefore, an effective Youth-Led WASH Campaign consists of adequate planning, management, training and capacity building, coordination among the institutions involved, and participatory education in addition to sound construction of water and sanitation facilities with child-friendly designs. If these conditions are created, children come to school, enjoy learning, learn better and take back to their families and communities concepts and practices on water, sanitation and hygiene.

Water Access in Relation to Climate Change

Water scarcity through climate change and the resulting increase in the costs of water has led to inequitable access in the lower eastern region of Kenya. This may deprive households of opportunities to collect the amount of safe water needed for domestic use, handwashing and hygiene, limiting children’s ability to grow up healthy and strong. Our WASH Project aims to protect vulnerable communities from the effects of droughts, floods, increased competition for water, and climate-related health impacts. We reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using solar power in all our projects

Only about 19 percent of Kenyans get their water from piped systems. In the lower eastern parts of Kenya, this figure drops to only 10 percent. The rest get water from dirty streams, wells, and boreholes of uncertain quality, and from springs, lakes, many of which are polluted. In response to this, VVP engages with the private sector as an approach for accelerating the scaling-up of WASH services and access to affordable products. The project targets the larger, urban, and peri-urban water service providers (WSPs) to professionalize their operations, helping them attract additional investment capital and improve revenue.

Specific Activities

  • Engaging the private sector as partners, vendors, and service providers
  • Supporting sustainable WASH infrastructure
  • Promoting the effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of WASH
  • Engaging counties and institutions on climate change resilience and conservation of water catchment areas.

WASH Entrepreneurship/Market-based WASH solutions

VVP’s WASH programme focuses on transforming the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) situation of underserved Kenyan families. We achieve this through systems change: strengthening & initiating service providers with a focus on small and medium entrepreneurs, social marketing for demand creation among potential end-users, and catalysing a supportive environment. WASH Entrepreneurs deal with Hand wash equipment, water filters, water storage tanks, water treatment as well as clean toilets within urban centres. This programme supports over 300 entrepreneurs as well as 19 entrepreneur associations, mainly focusing exclusively on strengthening supply and demand for market-based WASH solutions.

WASH Financing through Table Banking

We work with the National Government and County Governments, and with community health volunteers at local levels to support community mobilization to raise awareness and promote uptake of good WASH services and practices. We also partner with the Ministry of Water and Sanitation to train water management committees on water governance. We collaborate with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to influence government plans and budgeting processes. This way, we ensure resources are well-distributed in areas of need.

Infrastructure Support

On infrastructure support, our approach is based on a methodology of assessing capacity gaps, designing and implementing relevant training and capacity building activities for its partners in order to make sound decisions on infrastructure investments that will lead to improved business performance and greater access to basic water services across the counties we work with.

The interventions here include:

  • Test pumping of boreholes to establish reliable yields
  • Construction of water distribution pipelines
  • Installation of solar power units for water pumping
  • Installation of water treatment systems
  • Rehabilitation & improvement of existing water supply infrastructure and other interventions

Environmental sustainability

A key focus of our WASH project is to build the capacity of county governments, institutions, and communities to incorporate climate change, gender, and water safety to practice and expand the protection of water sources and improve sanitation. At the local level, our project targets community springs for protection followed by conservation within the spring users’ surrounding ecosystem. This helps improve the quality and quantity of water from these sources and hence increase access to potable water mostly by rural communities. In addition, environmental sensitization is done among beneficiary communities on environmental hygiene and the use of springs, soil, and water conservation on farmlands around the springs.

Specific activities:

  • Increase the protection of watersheds/towers
  • Building resilience to the impacts of climate change
  • Capacity building to advocate for communities around water protection and sanitation.