Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kenya: Unicef Donors Express Satisfaction with WASH Project by Hilton Otenoy

UNICEF and other donors have expressed satisfaction with the progress of Water, Sanitation and Heath (WASH) programmes they are funding in the country. Unicef’s Wash programme specialist Ali Tiffow said the projects that involve access to water, sanitation in schools and enhancing safe motherhood targets to benefit an estimated 1.6 million Kenyans. He said the projects, being implementedin 16 counties, has so far provided latrines to 500,000 people and provided safewater through sinking of shallow wells, boreholes and pipe extensions, to 541,000 people.

He said the programmes targets to reach 3.3 million people in behavioural change including hand washing by end of six-years. “We are happy with the progress made so far and we shall continue working with the government in future. We hope there will be agreements,” said Tiffow. The project that started in 2008 ends in 2014.

The project is funded by Unicef,the Netherlands government, the Kenyan government and local communities. It is estimated to cost  Sh6 billion. It has five components that include access to safe drinking water, hygiene promotion, water and sanitation in schools and health facilities and capacity building. Saying that sustainability of projects is very important, Tifow said that they have tightened the lection criteria for projects to be funded to ensure they can be sustained.

Toffow spoke when he led representatives from Netherlands and Finland on a tour of the WASH projects in Vihiga and Busia counties. “UNICEF pays particular attention to achieving a high level of sustainability among the projects that we have supported,” he maintained. Tiffowsaid that among the ways the donors will ensure that the projects last longer will be vetting of proposals from communities as the WASH program was demand-driven.           

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