Global Sanitation Fund supports Kenya to achieve open defecation free status


AMREF KENYA has been awarded a Kshs. 450,000,000 (USD$ 5 Million) contract to execute a five year programme aimed at reaching over 1.92 million Kenyans thus contributing towards the national goal of Open Defecation Free Kenya by the year 2020.


Dubbed the Kenya Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (K-SHIP) is funded by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council through the Global Sanitation Fund. This is the first programme funded through this mechanism and implemented in Kenya. This support will directly contribute to the achievements of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) road map goals and the national health sector goals.


Speaking during the award ceremony, Hon. James Machaira, Cabinet Health Secretary said, “Open defecation is still practiced in Kenya.  Despite the prevalence of open defecation being low nationally, regional disparities exist– in some counties open defecation remains the norm for more than 70% of the population. In 2013, the Kenyan Government launched an ambitious campaign with a road map to accomplishing Open Defecation Free villages in Rural Kenya. The campaign achieved less than 70% ODF communities.”


K-SHIP will act as a seed fund for the promotion of sanitation and hygiene in the country. The programme intends to intervene in 11 sub counties/Counties namely Kinango, Tharaka, Naivasha, Narok South, Gucha, Muranga, Vihiga, Mbeere North, Busia, Uasingishu and Kuria.


Dr Meshack Ndirangu, AMREF Kenya Acting Country Director, said, “AMREF Kenya as the executing agency will ensure that the programme attains its goals through implementation of systematic approaches which include: selection and contracting of sub-grantees providing grant and financial oversight to sub-grantees; facilitating related procurements; promoting grant matching; implementing a robust M&E system; developing and deploying communication and learning strategies; implementing targeted innovations to scale up sanitation and strengthen coordination for synergy among the stakeholders.”


The Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Health, as the policy holder, will support with policy guidance and technical assistance.  The Ministry at the National level will focus on policy formulation and enforcement, resource mobilization and provision of technical expertise.


Adds Dr Ndirangu, “Through implementing partner NGOs, AMREF Kenya will have the objective of moving 755,400 people from open defecation to using basic latrines, help more than 200 villages to be certified open defecation free, and move a further 377,700 people from basic latrines to improved sanitation facilities. In addition to this, the implementing organisations will have to work to improve the capacity of 500 officers from the government and private sector. Once this is achieved, it is estimated that Kenya will have reached the 2020 target by 80% in the selected sub-counties.”


Through the implementation of this components, the programme intends to: increase number of people who change from open defecation to safe defecation; promote hand washing with soap and adoption of appropriate hygiene practices; increase access to sanitation and adoption of hygiene behaviour among the most vulnerable groups.


Overall the programme will accelerate Pro-poor Sanitation and Hygiene Technology Development; positioning sanitation as a public good; catalyse and promote Financial Inclusion for Improvement of Sanitation and Health; promote Partnership with the Private Sector and promote the integration of CLTS with Community Health Strategy.