While Kenya has launched broad ranging water sector reform and has stepped up investment in water supply, sanitation and hygiene, the country still faces considerable challenges in reaching the water and sanitation millennium development goals (MDGs).
13 million Kenyans lack access to improved water supply and 19 million lack access to improved sanitation.
The impacts of the lack of adequate service water supply, sanitation and hygiene is on the well-being and productivity of Kenya’s growing population are profound. Water supply, sanitation and hygiene related diseases and associated conditions (e.g. anemia, dehydration and malnutrition) are the number one cause of under-five hospitalization and mortality, and over 50% of hospital visits in Kenya are for illnesses related to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Water related challenges in Kenya are not limited to water supply and sanitation services. Kenya is classified among the most water scarce countries in the world. Water shortages are experienced by users across the country. Kenya is plagued with chronic cycles of flooding and drought that are increasing in frequency and severity, in part exacerbated by climate change, and coupled with population growth, significant upland watershed destruction, and non equitable distributed of water resources. The GoK has recently taken some controversial steps to protect upland watersheds.
SOHA/ Kenya is focused upon improving access to water, increasing community capacity to manage and better use water resources, improving water supply infrastructure in arid and semi-arid areas, improving water sanitation and hygiene practices, as well as protecting watersheds.