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Reaching 800,000 urban poor through up-scaling household and plot-level sanitation in Kenya

Posted by Doreen Mbalo (GIZ) with information provided by Roland Werchota (GIZ Kenya) and Han Seur (WSTF)

Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF), German Financial Cooperation (KfW) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) will be partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on a 5 year urban sanitation program that aims to provide sustainable sanitation services up to additional 800,000 people in the urban low income areas. The program will specifically target the population of the “sanitation hotspots” in Kenya; the informal and formal / unplanned and planned low-income urban settlements where child mortality is twice the national average. This cooperation is in line with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation aspirations enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution that sanitation is a fundamental human right.

Plots with multiple housing units 
This up-scaling program is drawing on experiences of the three globally active organisations BMGF, GIZ and KfW to develop broad-based implementation strategies and is a significant expansion of previous work of the Kenyan WSTF. It builds on the ongoing WSTF up-scaling initiatives for increasing access to safe water with the support of GIZ, KfW, and the European Union which has provided quality- and price-controlled drinking water to additionally 750,000 urban poor since 2009.
Almost 50% of Kenyans have no access to a toilet with acceptable standards, only 19% are connected to a sewer system and 12% are forced to open defecation. This is unacceptable for the individuals and highly compromises public health which hampers the country’s economic and social growth.

Plot with a poor sanitation unit for several families
The efforts carried out in the past through stand-alone projects by informal service providers have had little impact and sustainability. This will change as the up-scaling program is now aligned to national strategies and will make use of sector institutions, building their capacities as well as offering for the first time a sound national concept for up-scaling of improved urban sanitation at household and plot level. It will go hand in hand with the concept for public sanitation already part of the WSTF Urban Project Cycle (UPC) and presently being rolled out country-wide.

The financial support for up scaling sanitation will be demand-driven and implemented through annual Call for Proposals to the registered Water Service Providers (WSPs) by the WSTF. The proposed plot and household-level sanitation up-scaling project will target the population of the urban “sanitation hotspots” in the low income settlements. Residents of such low-income areas can apply for support to the WSPs once the concept and the financing mechanism is in place. The concept will be embedded in the water sector and its institutions, to ensure sustainability of the project outputs. The program aims to provide access to improved low-cost sanitation for up to 10% of the estimated 5 million underserved.
The proposed program subscribes to the principle of the full value chain for sanitation (sustainable sanitation services approach). It will promote sanitation facilities of different types (including UDDTs for instance) but also include sludge management which will be treated as a business opportunity.
The proposed program is jointly financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (10.00 Million USD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the KfW Entwicklungsbank (10.00 Million USD). Additional in-kind contributions will be made by GIZ as well as by the relevant Kenyan sector institutions. The GIZ program will closely cooperate with the SV (Sector Program) and sanitation networks within GIZ in order to ensure validation of lessons learned and integration of innovations.

For more info, please email Patrick.Onyango@giz.de

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