- Cabinet Secretary for Health, Susan Nakhumicha said only 28% of Rural and 32% of urban Kenyans have access to improved sanitation.
- She said Kenya was losing a whooping Sh27 billion per year due to poor sanitation.
Ministry of Health has revealed that approximately six million Kenyans have no access to any form of sanitation facilities and practice total open defecation.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Susan Nakhumicha said statistics show that 90 per cent of open defecation was taking place in 15 counties, which have been categorised as high-burden counties.
She listed the counties as Turkana, Samburu, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Kilifi, Kwale, Narok, Baringo, Isiolo, Homabay, Kajiado and West Pokot.
“The Government of Kenya through the Ministries of Health and that of Water Sanitation and Irrigation, the County Governments and development partners have launched the Kenya Sanitation Alliance (KSA - 2021) to propel issues of hygiene and sanitation in the high-burden counties,” she said.
Nakhumicha has said that another 24 million use un-improved sanitation facilities or share latrines with the country losing a whooping Sh27 billion per year due to poor sanitation.
In a statement read on her behalf by Director Public Health, Susan Koki during the launch of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) High Priority Country Plan for Kenya, Nakhumicha said that according to the Joint Monitoring programme 2017, only Only 28% of Rural and 32% of urban Kenyans have access to improved sanitation.
The United States of America Government has launched Sh12.9 billion investments in WASH activities (2022-2027) which will be implemented in different parts of the country with the main focus being the Arid and Semi-Arid areas of Northeastern.
Present during the launch which was part of the events at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) WASH week in Nairobi were US Ambassador, Meg Whitman, Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Cabinet Minister, Alice Wahome and Nyandarua Governor, Kiarie Badilisha.
Nakhumicha said the investments in water were key because water, sanitation, hygiene and health are linked in many ways.
“Access to safe drinking water is important to health since consumption of contaminated water may result in water-borne diseases including cholera, typhoid, dysentery, viral hepatitis, and other diseases that cause diarrhoea.
She added that access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education could reduce illnesses and deaths from diseases and lead to improved health, poverty reduction, and socio-economic development.
She noted that water-based diseases and water-related vector-borne diseases can result from water supply projects (including dams and irrigation structures) that inadvertently provide habitats for mosquitoes and snails.
Nakhumicha said MoH was pleased to be part of the USAID Kenya High Priority Country Plan launch and promised to support and ensure accountability of any activity that fell within its scope.
In 2022, Kenya which is 85 per cent ASALs, has a culturally diverse population and high levels of environmental vulnerability and is financially challenged to ensure sustainable WASH services was re-designated as a High-Priority Country under the new US government Global Water Strategy.
Amb Whitman that the US government through the Global Water Strategy (GWS) had invested Sh12.9 in various WASH activities in Kenya as an indicator of its strong commitment to ensuring global water security.
She said water security would remain a challenge in Kenya and around the world in the foreseeable future even as different development partners work together to get lasting solutions.
Whitman said that the US recognised that its WASH investments must stretch further to deliver transformational and lasting changes.