About WASH First

WASH First is a fifteen months’ project funded by SIMAVI in which WASH Alliance Kenya supports COVID-19 response in two selected informal settlements in Nairobi — Korogocho and Mathare Valley Informal Settlements.


Josephine Adhiambo, a 42-year-old single mother of three, resides in Ngomongo village in Korogocho Informal Settlement. She is chronically ill.

“Thank you for giving me this handwashing bucket. Before I got this bucket, I used to have frequent cases of diarrhea, but since I got it, the cases have never happened. I wash my hands with my children. I went to the hospital for treatment and was also tested for Coronavirus. Lucky enough they found I don’t have coronavirus and that’s thanks to your assistance. I would not have been washing my hands maybe I would have had corona.”


William Mutua Mayeka, a 48-year-old single father of four teenage girls, resides in Ngomongo village in Korogocho Informal Settlement

“I was living a good life but since the coronavirus pandemic started, I lost my job and things have been tough. I was one of the people that were chosen by the CHV to benefit from this handwashing bucket and bars of soap. It has been good for handwashing in my family especially with teenage girls living here. Before that, I used to wash hands at a community tap which is far away.”


Elda Anyango Nandwa, 77-year-old grandmother, resides in Mabatini village in Mathare informal settlement

“I got this handwashing vessel from the CHV and it helps me in washing hands with my family. We have to buy water from the water vendors to fill it every day. We are trusting that with kind of help we will be able to weather the coronavirus pandemic.”


Elizabeth Oduor, Community Health Volunteer, Pipeline Unit Mathare Informal Settlement

“I was trained by WASH Alliance Kenya and allocated handwashing buckets, bar soaps, and masks to distribute to vulnerable people in the slum. The selected beneficiaries were the elderly, those living with disabilities, and those with chronic illness. They all benefitted from these supplies.

“While distributing these supplies to households we also educated them on the importance of following the COVID-19 regulations. Now, whenever I go round the unit, I find they have the handwashing buckets filled with water and washing their hands. This has also helped prevent other hygiene-related diseases such as typhoid and diarrhea.

“We need to continue sensitizing the community because some are becoming relaxed and ignoring the COVID regulations. We need to keep telling them to follow these rules and also supply them with soaps.”

Emily Sang, Nurse In-charge at Upendo Dispensary in Mathare 4B, Mathare Informal Settlement (The clinic has six healthcare workers and serves more than 5,000 people in the area)

“We are very grateful for the tank donation. At least for now we don’t have challenges with water. During the coronavirus period, it was difficult for us because we used to buy water but after we got this tank the issue was water was settled. So far, we don’t buy any water and we don’t have any challenges with water.

“We serve a population of about 5,000 people, including adults and children. We use water for cleaning, drinking, and washing hands. Before corona, the top disease in this area was diarrheal related, but now we having increased cases of upper respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, coughs, and others. Diarrheal cases have gone down because I think of the washing of hands and the availability of water.