EMPOWERNMENT

Water project to lift the economic status of women in Machakos

In Summary
  • At least 78% of jobs globally depend on water
  • Access to safe water and improved sanitation services are key pillars for Africa’s development Agenda 2063.
Eston Murithi, CEO, KENDAT [Green Reflector ]is surrounded by a group of women during the launch of Nguswini water project in Machakos County

Water is an essential resource, and the strength of the sector has significant impacts on economic growth, health and quality of life. Key industries, including agriculture and energy, rely on water as an input, with 78 per cent of jobs globally being dependent on water.

However, constraints that impair development are pressing, as climate change and population growth put ever more pressure on existing systems.

Access to safe water and improved sanitation services are key pillars for Africa’s development Agenda 2063.

Kenya just like any other developing country still lags behind global progress to provide safe drinking water to everyone.

UN data shows that despite the effort and billions of dollars of investment ,have yielded modest gains, with high but avoidable health and economic costs borne by over 300m people lacking basic water access.

Kendat, a not for profit organisation has launched a water project that set to benefit the rural community have access to clean drinking water in Machakos County. 

Speaking during the launch, Kendat CEOEston Murithi said the water project will reduce the number of hours t women spend in a day to fetch water, the nearest river is 5 kilometres  away , taking them eight hours to  to fetch a 80 litres of water for domestic use.

Today when we compare water supply between urban and rural areas you will realize there is a big difference based on various set of challenges. This is why as a non-governmental organization we must strive to work investing in safe and sustainable drinking water for rural populations,'' Murithi said.

Jane Mule is a resident of Nguwsini area, recalls days that she will have to travel more than 10 kilometres to fetch water.

“This area is dry and getting access to clean drinking water was a big challenge to us,our children were always sick due to consuming contaminated water,'' Mule said. 

Her sentiments are enchoed with Ester Mutua, who owns a donkey and uses it to fetch water for others locals in the area.

“The only water source is five kilometres away from here and most of the time we would have to dig using sticks to reach the water level, which was not clean at all.

She added that she is  happy with the project as it will  make her work easier and for the first time this community will enjoy clean drinking water.

Water Status in Africa

Data from the Bank’s Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) estimates that over 20 million people in rural and urban areas of Africa have gained access to clean drinking water.

This is due to the investment by the African Development Bank projects.

Their findings also revealed that between 2005 and 2016, covering more than 400 operations across the continent with a total project cost of $8.2 billion.

Beneficiaries were key to the success of the projects, the report found. The extent and quality of collaboration with local stakeholders matters.

In Ghana, for instance, there was active participation by over 600,000 community members in the various project activities thanks to raising awareness and understanding the demand-driven approach.

The evaluation also identified some barriers to the success of a water sector intervention. For example, poor service delivery, insufficient human capacity, limited financing and performance of the sanitation and hygiene component or lack of appropriate assessment of critical water sector risks can undermine outcomes.

Ensuring reliable access to clean water for drinking and handwashing can reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.