Kibera & Mukuru Water & Sanitation Project

Common scene of Kibera
A common scene in Kibera - water vending.


First phase 2003 – 2006 Kisumu Ndogo/Makina Village - Kibera, Nairobi
Second phase 2006 – 2008 Mukuru  kwa  Najenga slums - Nairobi

Key Components

Water Supply, Sanitation, Hygiene Education, Capacity Building, Income Generating Activities

Brief description of project goal, objectives and expected results:

To provide clean, safe water within reasonable distance and to improve the community’s living standards by providing proper sanitation with a view to reducing waterborne diseases.

The project is in its 5th year of implementation and so far 3 water tanks of 10,000 litres each have been installed in the slum, one of them being at Makina Baptist School. The remaining two were installed in the community in Kisumu Ndogo village and are managed by Darajani Women Group and Kisumu Ndogo Usafi na Maendeleo Group (partner CBOs) respectively. In addition to the water points the project has helped the community to construct 2 VIP latrines of 4 doors managed commercially by the two CBOs.

Two more water storage tanks of 10m^3 each have been installed in the Mukuru slum while Embakasi Prrimary School in the same slum has benefited from 6M3 of water storage tank all connected to Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company supply network. 3 blocks of VIP latrines have also been constructed in Mukuru so as to reduce incidences of “flying toilets”. Toilets at Embakasi Primary School have been refurbished and handed back the school health club and water and sanitation committee.

Waste management is done by the Afya group of youths after the project develop a garbage collection point for them. The waste point is used for sorting, preparing waste for composting and incineration of non plastics. After sorting and composting the youth market materials to waste dealers around Kibera and Mukuru slums.

WaterCan water tank, Kisumu Ndogo
A water tank in Kisumu Ndogo/Kibera.

Project Reach

The project beneficiaries are residents of Kisumu Ndogo and teachers and pupils of Makina Baptist School. By the end of the 2nd year more than 6500 residents and 470 teachers and pupils had and continue to benefit from the project both directly and indirectly. This includes all the age groups and distribution by gender gives 4,200 women and about 2,770 men.

In Mukuru it is earmarked that at the end of the project in June 2008. 3,000 residents of the slum will have improved access to safe water and sanitation. In addition 700 pupils of Embakasi Primary will have access to sustainable water supply and safe sanitation.

They will also have had adequate capacity building to manage O&M of the installations and also take charge of leadership and mobilization of their fellow residents as a way of transferring and sharing knowledge on health and hygiene as trained hygiene promoters. Training in environmental conservation and sanitation is another key area that the project’s software component continues to put more emphasis.

For the sustainability of the facilities, the two communities continue to receive relevant training on operation and maintenance, records keeping and leadership roles. Environmental protection and gender streamlining are also addressed by the project.

Project Objectives

The project goals are achieved through specific objectives of the project as follows:

  1. To improve the standard of living of the informal settlement by providing access to adequate potable water.
  2. To facilitate the installation of water storage tanks to enhance water supply due to rampant interruptions occasioned by water rationing
  3. To rehabilitate the water piping system from the water mains to the delivery point.
  4. To improve water quality through SODIS water disinfection technology.
  5. To strengthen community management and institutional capacity in order to run and manage installed facilities.
  6. To promote health through hygiene education, water and sanitation facilities, environmental, and waste management issues.
  7. To facilitate gender equity in project formulation, decision making and management facilities and services.
  8. To improve the cleanliness of the environment through organised garbage collection in the community.
  9. To empower the communities to save through the compulsory group savings from funds generated from the project.

Beneficiaries’ participation in designing the project

Entry into the Community is normally done through the existing registered community groups in the area. Before picking on the target group their applications for partnership are scrutinised so as to pick the most qualified.

KWAHO did a survey on the status of the water and sanitation facilities in the area before the project started. Most of the facilities were dysfunctional. Water tanks that were once functional were perforated and unusable. Sanitary facilities were inadequate and environmental sanitation was poor. During implementation, the communities participate in the construction of water and sanitation facilities, they keep records of all the activities carried out during the implementation period, and they participate in training and hygiene promotion. They also contribute at least 10% of the project cost.

Map of Kibera showing facilities
Map of Kibera showing the installed facilities.

Project activities

  • Mobilization and registration of CBOs
  • Planning, siting, designing of facilities
  • Hygiene Promotion
  • Capacity building
  • Health and hygiene outreach and follow up
  • Income generating activities
  • Operation and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities
  • Formation and training of health clubs and water and sanitation committees
  • Waste management
  • Construction of water and sanitation facilities
  • Participatory monitoring and evaluation


WaterCan VIP latrines, Kisumu Ndogo
1st community VIP latrine.

Waste management by the KWAHO Afya Group

The Afya groups both in Mukuru and Kibera slums does the following:
• Collection of garbage from the village households and nearby business premises at a fee of KSH 20 per week.
• Transportation of the waste to the collection cum incineration point constructed by WaterCan in partnership with KWAHO and the youth groups (afya group)
• Sorting of the waste to separate re-usable materials which can be sold, non plastic materials that can be burnt at the incineration area and organic matter that is later transferred to the compost situated nearby the collection point.
• Weekly clean up exercises take place every Sunday afternoon and involves all CBO members. Clearing of clogged open drainages and door to door sensitization campaigns on environmental sanitation and hygiene promotion are other activities incorporated in the clean up exercise. The waste in its decomposing form is taken from the draining and added to the compost to make manure that is sold to people with flower and vegetable gardens in Nairobi.


WaterCan VIP latrines and water tank at Makina Baptist School
VIP latrine and water tank at Makina Baptist PS.

More important though is the fact KWAHO has developed the capacity of several CBO to identify, develop and manage their own resources. Hygiene promotion and campaign skills impacted on the group will go along way in improving hygiene behaviour. KWAHO will continue to monitor, guide and to motivate them to enhance efficiency and sustainability.



Read more about this project:

Improving conditions in Nairobi's slums, by George Yap, Program Director
(local copy of this article)


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