Kenya

54m

Population

51%

of urban residents living in slums

4.1%

Urbanisation rate per year

69%

of people without safely managed sanitation

37%

of people without even basic drinking water

Worked there since 2007 | Project locations: Nairobi, Mombasa, Naivasha, Nakuru, Kisumu, Malindi, Eldoret and Mavoko

Kenya is experiencing an unprecedented urban growth rate; over half of the population is expected to be living in urban areas by 2025, up from just 27% in 2018 [source: UNHABITAT). This is due to several factors including natural population growth and many people moving from rural areas into the towns and cities because of poverty, climate change and conflict. As a result, Kenyan cities are facing huge demand for critical infrastructure and basic services which they struggle to meet.

Most of these new arrivals into urban areas end up living in overcrowded and impoverished informal settlements; around 50% of people in major cities live in such communities. Only one third of urban residents have access to at least a basic sanitation service.

WSUP has established programmes in many of Kenya’s major cities. By forming partnerships with service providers, local and national governments, UN agencies, and other stakeholders we are working to create affordable and sustainable water and sanitation services for low-income urban communities.

Our work in Kenya

Installing sewers in informal settlements

Raising local governments’ sanitation operational standards
Facilitating water utilities to serve low-income communities

9754481

Urban residents served
since 2005

2399038

People with improved water supply

840261

People with improved sanitation

6515182

People who have received hygiene education

CASE STUDY

Virginia Waithera, Mukuru community, Nairobi

“The water is available all the time, I am very grateful for it. It has really helped us because we would walk long distances to fetch water, and now it’s available nearby.”

Faustina Boachie, Ghana Water Company

Virginia Waithera has been a resident of Mukuru, a neighbourhood in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, for nine years. “One of the challenges we used to face was having to buy water,” she says, saying that shortages and price fluctuation were common and quite disrupting for the residents. “During shortages, the price would go up to Kshs20 per jerrican.”

With funding from The One Foundation, WSUP worked with Nairobi Water to break that cycle and allow people in Mukuru to have a more reliable and easily accessible water source. The project involved the installation of water stations within the neighbourhood, enabling the use of pre-paid dispensers with advanced technology. The impact was felt immediately.

“The project has been very useful, especially for women,” says Ms Waithera. “We are happy, our hygiene has improved. It was difficult to be clean when paying Kshs.20 for water.”

She says the new conditions represented a huge leap in comparison to what they used to face. “There has been a big difference, now that we have enough water. We use water in the toilet even for short calls, and the toilet can also be cleaned properly.”
Ms Waithera also says the environment around her and her family is also cleaner. “My life has changed thanks to the project. I’m happy that my household is clean. I can even clean the house three times, and I wash clothes frequently.”

“The water is available all the time, I am very grateful for it. It has really helped us because we would walk long distances to fetch water, and now it’s available nearby.”

Partnerships