The SWIFT programme in Kenya is implemented by a range of partners in very different contexts, from the informal settlements of Nairobi to the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands region in the north.
By March 2016, SWIFT had reached 330,000 people in Kenya with one or more WASH services: 201,300 people with clean, safe water; 30,900 people with improved sanitation; and 330,000 people with hygiene promotion activities.
SWIFT partner BBC Media Action is working in all four locations to achieve sustainable hygiene behaviour change, by partnering with local radio stations and supporting them to produce public health broadcasts that are engaging and locally relevant.
Having conducted formative research across the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties and Nairobi’s informal settlements, BBC Media Action analysed the WASH information needs, levels of knowledge and existing attitudes and barriers to the adoption of improved hygiene behaviours among the target audiences.
BBC Media Action ‘mentors’ are working with seven partner radio stations to build their capacity to incorporate WASH content in their programming; for example, by holding a production workshop at which they received training in producing WASH Public Service Announcements (PSAs). The radio stations incorporate WASH content in their programming in the form of interviews, discussions, vox pops and news stories.
The seven partner radio stations receive ‘on-site mentoring’, with BBC Media Action’s three Broadcast Mentors visiting partner stations as well as providing support remotely.
In Wajir, SWIFT partner Oxfam has trained Community Health Volunteers to promote improved hygiene behaviours such as hand-washing. It has also supported School Health Clubs, and trained teachers in the ‘child-to-child’ approach, which facilitates children’s understanding of healthy behaviour and allows them to identify health priorities in a fun, challenging and interesting way.
Oxfam has also installed solar pumping systems at boreholes, and is working with the Wajir County Government and Wajir Water and Sewerage Company (WAJWASCO) to improve access to clean water for remote rural communities.
The Oxfam team is building capacity at WAJWASCO to strengthen its capacity and support it to have management oversight of the village water user associations that have been set up. As part of this, electronic water dispensers (or water ‘ATMs’) have been installed in some villages to make it easier for people to access water and ensure payment reaches the water utility company (see ‘Sustainable Water in Kenya‘).
In Marsabit, SWIFT partner Concern Worldwide has implemented water, sanitation and hygiene activities.
These include Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), a process of mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation. The CLTS approach focuses on triggering a community’s desire for collective change, and providing support for it to build its own latrines (see ‘Increasing access to safe sanitation in Kenya‘).
Concern has also trained community facilitators and partner staff in hygiene promotion activities, and provided information, education and communication materials to trigger debate around health and hygiene messages.
And finally, Concern has improved the water infrastructure, by rehabilitating boreholes and installing hand-pumps and solar pumping systems.
In Turkana, SWIFT partners Oxfam and Practical Action have improved the water infrastructure and increased access to safe water for remote rural communities. Work has included drilling and rehabilitating boreholes; laying pipelines; constructing water kiosks; installing tanks and solar pumping systems; constructing and rehabilitating shallow wells; and equipping boreholes with low-maintenance BluePumps.
SWIFT is also working to build capacity at the Lodwar Water and Sewerage Company (LOWASCO), and the water-service provider in Kakuma, KAWASEPRO (see ‘Sustainable Water in Kenya‘).
Both Oxfam and Practical Action have also implemented Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) (see Marsabit, above), including providing support for the construction of household latrines (see ‘Sustainable Sanitation in Kenya‘).
In addition, Oxfam and Practical Action are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation in Turkana to promote good hygiene behaviours. They have trained Community Health Volunteers to conduct home visits to promote behaviours such as hand-washing; supported School Health Clubs; and trained teachers in the ‘child-to-child’ approach, which facilitates children’s understanding of healthy behaviour and allows them to identify health priorities in a fun, challenging and interesting way.
SWIFT has implemented a range of activities in Nairobi’s informal settlements.
Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) is working in Dandora, where it has laid a new 23.5km pipeline and reached 52,000 people in the informal settlement with clean, reliable water.
WSUP is partnering with the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) to legalise illegal connections to the water network and ensure its improvements are sustainable. The partners have jointly embarked on a mass promotion with the aim of connecting 3,000 new and reactivated water meters to the existing network (see ‘Sustainable Water in Kenya‘).
An NCWSC site office has been opened that also serves as a customer care and complaints centre on water issues for residents. A team of local promoters is carrying out the plot-to-plot distribution of application forms for water connections to landlords. And WSUP’s and NCWSC’s field sociologists have worked closely with the community project task team, landlords and residents to understand potential customer groups, their attitudes, practices, perceptions and preferences, and their willingness to pay for an improved service.
Another SWIFT partner, Sanergy, has installed Fresh Life Toilets in the informal settlement of Mukuru. These pre-fabricated toilets are made of high-quality materials that are easy to keep clean and maintain; have a small footprint that enables them to be installed close to homes; and include essential features such as hand-washing facilities.
Sanergy has also installed Fresh Life Toilets in schools in Mukuru, and provided WASH training for teachers and ‘edutainment’ days for pupils in collaboration with WASH United (see ‘Sustainable Sanitation in Kenya‘).