What is the Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program?
The Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction program works to increase access to clean water and improve sanitation and hygiene in Kenya’s arid lands. The program is part of a larger effort to assist the Kenyan government and local communities to increase their resilience to droughts and flooding caused by a changing climate while simultaneously increasing access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene services. Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction will integrate and sequence emergency relief efforts with long term development efforts in order to increase water storage capacity, improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at health facilities and nutrition centers and improve access to and use of safe drinking water, point of use water treatment, and good hygiene behaviors to reduce diarrheal diseases.
Project Duration and Budget
December 2012 – December 2014
$8 million from USAID and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance; $1.83 million in matching funds
Who implements the Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program?
The Millennium Water Alliance, through four Millennium Water Alliance member institutions – CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, and World Vision.
Where does the Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program work?
The program is targeting 160,000 people in five counties Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana, and Wajir. Situated in Kenya’s northern arid region, these counties are particularly vulnerable to a changing climate and the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa. Poverty rates are high, most homes are food insecure, and access to clean water and sanitation lags well behind the national average.
What does the Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program do?
The program’s strategy is to improve water, sanitation hygiene and environmental health management as a way to reduce the impacts of drought and flooding. The key components of this strategy are to improve sanitation and hygiene in homes, health facilities and nutrition centers; to pilot advanced water use planning and hydrogeological approaches to improve overall water supply, and to strengthen ties with development programs in other sectors to improve management, replicate successful approaches, increase impact and provide opportunities for collective learning.
Among the program’s key activities are prioritizing those communities most vulnerable to flood and drought within the five target counties; improving water supply using low-cost, easy to maintain technology; piloting a “3-R” strategy (Retention, Recharge, and Reuse) to increase water storage for use in dry times together with the Multiple Use Water Services approach to water supply, and promoting Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage techniques.
The program is collaborating with USAID’s APHIAplus integrated health program to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities and nutrition centers; and is using radio and participatory community theatre to promote good sanitation and hygiene practices.
How will the Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program make a difference?
The Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program will result in increased capacity of permanent water storage, a reduction in water-borne disease, increased and sustainable application of the Retention, Recharge and Reuse and Multiple Use Water Services water management approaches, and contribute to the Kenyan government’s goal of an open-defecation free rural Kenya.
What key challenges does the Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program face?
Despite decades of large-scale emergency response households in the arid lands of Kenya remain chronically food insecure and suffer from poor health and poverty. Climate variability, especially the effects of recurrent drought, is progressively eroding livelihoods.
The primary challenge facing the program is insecurity, especially in Wajir and Garissa. Periodic outbreaks of community violence coupled with high rates of crime and banditry can delay the movement of staff to the field. Heavy rainfall from March through May can also restrict field movements and the ability to undertake planned hydrogeological surveys that precede the sinking of new shallow wells.
For more information:
Doris Kaberia, MWA-Kenya Program Director
Millennium Water Alliance
Tel: +254 (0) 202-726-047/8
Susan Dundon, MWA Program Director
Millennium Water Alliance
Tel: +1 202-296-1832
Martin Mulongo, Activity Manager
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel: +254 (0) 208-622-000
Updated August 2013
Last updated: August 30, 2013