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Improving Sanitation through Partnerships, Innovation and Financial Inclusion in Busia County, Kenya

A team from Amref Health Africa in Kenya visits Busia County Governor to share insights on Amref's work

Amref Health Africa in Kenya is working closely with the County Government of Busia to provide improved access to sanitation services.

Busia County was declared open defecation free (ODF) back in 2015 and since then, there has been a concerted effort to retain this status.

Amref Health Africa in Kenya is supporting Busia County to improve sanitation and hygiene through two water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects.

Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation and Health in Kenya (FINISH INK), has contributed to remarkable sanitation market development in Busia and Kilifi counties since 2013. Amref is working in partnership with WASTE, a Dutch NGO, to scale up the public-private partnership model that has been instrumental in enabling households obtain safe and improved sanitation facilities, paid for through micro-credit initiatives.

The Kenya Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (K-SHIP) aims to contribute to the reduction of the disease burden resulting from poor sanitation and hygiene and improve health outcomes. Through sanitation and hygiene promotion; equity and inclusion; capacity development and sanitation marketing; the project has reached over 7,000 people with sanitation and hygiene messages, while 2,067 facilities have been upgraded to improved sanitation facilities.

Funded through the Global Sanitation Fund, the K-SHIP project has trained and oriented 98 community health volunteers on sanitation marketing and menstrual hygiene management and trained artisans on the use of interlocking bricks to construct improved sanitation facilities.

The use of interlocking brick technology reduces the cost of construction of sanitation facilities by up to one third by making use of locally available materials. These bricks, commonly known as ‘makiga’ have become common place for the construction of improved sanitation facilities with community members identifying the Amref trained artisans to help them with the construction of improved facilities.

WASH and Universal Health Coverage

Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s WASH projects contribute to the universal health coverage agenda by promoting preventive health care practices such as proper hand-washing and improved sanitation and by making the latter affordable to poor households through public-private partnerships with financial institutions to offer affordable loans. The loans support poor households to set up improved sanitation facilities, protecting them from water borne diseases such as diarrhea. It remains Amref Health Africa’s commitment to contribute to the universal health coverage agenda through all its programmes and projects.