WHY WASH MATTERS

Health

Increasing access to safe water, improving management of human waste and better hygiene improves the physical health of the poorest urban residents. There is also scientific evidence – which looked at the effects of WSUP’s improvements in one Mozambican slum – demonstrating that better toilets also improve people’s mental wellbeing.

CASE STUDY

Isaack Otieno,
Mukuru community,
Nairobi, Kenya

“Water is now freely
available all the time.”

WSUP’s work with Nairobi Water in the Mukuru community, one of the largest in Kenya’s capital, has led to significant improvements in the health of its residents. “The area around me would be very dirty,” says Isaack Mukuru, who lives in Mukuru. The project concluded in 2022 with funds from The One Foundation, and addressed urgent problems in both water and sanitation services, bringing clean water to the community and connecting toilets to the sewerage network, using a simplified sewers system. The improvement in health conditions was immediately felt by those living in the area.

“Before that, we had no toilets, people had to pay to use the few toilets available. The environment was dirty because people would throw faeces all over. But now, we have seen change,” explains Isaack Otieno. “We never had toilets inside the plots, but with the sewerage projects, plots now have toilets. Diseases like cholera would affect people and kids, but they have reduced drastically. I have not heard of a sick child in the area recently.”

Availability of water has also had a direct impact on sanitation conditions, with toilets receiving a level of maintenance that was previously impossible. “The water project has helped us to keep the toilets clean. Water is now freely available all the time.”