Background

WASH Alliance Kenya (WAK), in collaboration with its partners, the MOH, Nairobi county, Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company and communities, has been implementing WASH intervention to minimize the transmission of COVID- 19 among the targeted population.

Specifically, WAK has supported COVID -19 response in selected informal settlements including Kibra, Mathare/ Gorogocho, Mukuru, and Githogoro. This has been done by improving access to safe water supply in selected areas through water connection and repairs, installation of hand washing stations in public places and distribution of hand washing vessels and soap to vulnerable households (elderly, persons living with disability, orphaned and vulnerable children and chronically ill persons).

Action

Through UNICEF funding, the following interventions that target the most vulnerable living in informal settlements are taking place, pertinent to helping mitigate the effects and arrest the spread of Covid-19:

  • Collaborated with state agencies: WAK have partnered with NCWSC, public health and administrative office to identify viable sites. Through this partnership, some 34 sites were identified for placement of water storage tanks and 200 community handwashing stations, and 10,000 household hand washing backets that are accessible to vulnerable persons in Kibra.
  • Working with community groups and natural leaders: to ensure sustainability, WAK is working through organized groups, such as the boda boda associations, cluster heads, volunteer business people (in strategic points), PLWD representatives as opposed to recruiting people to man the handwashing stations.
  • Identifying vulnerable households: through the public health community strategist and the administrative officers, WAK identified and mapped vulnerable persons living in Kibra including PLWD, elderly, OVCs and chronically ill e.g. HIV/AIDS, diabetes etc. This ensured the most vulnerable were reached.
  • Reaching out to the household level: 1,900 households that were identified as vulnerable were supplied with hand washing vessels and soap in Kibra. These vessels are estimated to benefit about 9,500 people (five persons per household).

 Impact

These intervention actions undertaken by WAK have benefited several vulnerable people living in Kibra and helped the local state officials reach and protect their community. 38 handwashing stations and soap were installed at high traffic areas, while 6 tanks were strategically installed in areas that the most vulnerable persons can reach them safely and easily. The handwashing vessels distributed to individual households have also helped improve hygiene for vulnerable persons and their families, reducing the risk of infection.

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Kennedy Omolo, Umande Trust (WAK implementing partner)