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Social connections increase access to water for Kenya’s urban poor

Story Highlights

• Most of Nairobi’s urban poor cannot afford the initial US$100 required for piped water connection.

• A social connections program allows households to access micro-credit for water connection, and to repay the loan in installments together with the monthly water bill.

• Kenya’s new constitutional right to water and sanitation obliges service providers to focus on underserved communities. Kayole Soweto village in the outskirts of Nairobi is home to 90,000 residents. The village is among scores of informal settlements inhabited by almost two-thirds of the city’s four million people. Like other lowincome settlements in Nairobi, Kayole Soweto village is sparsely served by piped water network.

A pilot social connections program with an innovative micro-financing model could hold the solution for improving access to affordable drinking water and sewerage services for low-income, underserved areas in Kenyan towns and cities, such as Kayole Soweto. Most residents are willing to pay for improved water supply, but cannot afford the lump sum KSh8,125 (US$100) fee required by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) to install metered water connection in individual houses. The connection fee includes a non-refundable commitment fee, deposit for water meter, and costs of piping and fittings.

Impact evaluation of drinking water supply and sanitation programmes in rural Benin

The Risk of Vanishing Effects

In the period 2008–2010, the Evaluation Departments of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in cooperation with KfW Entwicklungsbank jointly conducted an impact evaluation of the rural water supply and sanitation programmes in Benin being supported by the donor community. The supported programmes aim to contribute to the achievement of the 7th Millennium Development Goal target ‘to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015’.

Water shortages impede hygiene for Nepalese women

By Teresa Rehman

On the fourth day of her menstrual cycle, Belkumari Paudiyal hikes for more than 20 minutes to the river below her village. She ties a petticoat round her chest and takes a cleansing bath, which signals that her life will resume as normal.

When Paudiyal, 37, is menstruating, custom demands that she be isolated from her family, and refrain from entering the kitchen, touching food or offering prayers.
“I prefer to walk down to the river as it provides some privacy to clean myself,” says Paudiyal, a resident of Paudiyalthok in Nepal’s picturesque Panchkhal Valley. “Otherwise there is the common tap which has no enclosed space. Trekking all the way to the river is the only solution.”

 

                           


            

Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2