WOMENAID µ INTERNATIONAL
'MAJI SAFI' - 'CLEAN WATER'
A WomenAid supported project training village women in the use of water systems.
THREE YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH KWAHO
THE NEED FOR SAFE WATER AND BASIC SANITATION IN KENYA
At Independence in 1963 Kenya's population was 7 million. It is now approaching 30 million and like many other African countries, Kenya faces serious difficulties in trying to help its people meet the need for water that is reasonably convenient, and above all safe. Much of the country is arid or semi-arid. Most rural people are poor.
There is also a great need for basic sanitation. Many people have no facilities at all, not even a hole in the ground. Recognizing the direct link between women's access to clean water and the quality of life for all, KWAHO implements small water projects that women plan, execute and maintain. Their participatory approach enables women to actively improve their own situations.
KWAHO was founded by UNICEF as 'The UNICEF/Water For Health Project'. Over the years it has given active support to more than a hundred small water-related projects. All had a strong 'self-help' element often organized by local women's groups. Community development was always an essential aspect. Technical guidance was given by Ministries 'district officials' and UNICEF. With accessible water, women are able to give more time to farming, and are better able to care for their children.
the mid-eighties, UNIFEM began collaboration with the UNDP's Promotion of
the Role of Women in Water and Environmental Services (PROWWESS) programme,
and the Kenyan Water and Health Oganization (KWAHO), to provide software
assistance (community participation and training) to complement the
The Kwaho initiated projects are successful because they are based on a self-help operation. However, water should be only an initiating point for development, it must be considered in conjunction with other needs in a village. Although KWAHO is principally a water agency, it has a wide perspective which includes the related areas of health and sanitation. And while KWAHO emphasizes better water for better health, it also seeks to foster development in the areas of nutrition, breast feeding, energy conservation, and income generation.
project proved catalytic in that its methodology was been adopted by the
Swedish International Development Agency and other agencies in the
It is a demonstration of how the participatory approach enables
women to actively improve their own situations while contributing to
community efforts to attain clean water, basic sanitation and better