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Integrating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Water Resources Management

Kenya is classified as a ‘chronically water scarce’ country. Moreover, Kenya’s target of achieving 100% coverage of safe water supply by 2030 and 100% access to basic sanitation services by 2030 is unlikely to be met.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 makes the strongest case for the integration of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Water Resources Management (WRM). It focuses on water with the overarching goal to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. With important targets that go beyond access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene,  water quality and wastewater treatment, water scarcity and water-use efficiency, are integrated into water resources management and water-related ecosystems.

The Watershed Program in Kenya focuses on strengthening the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to advocate and lobby for the integration of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) & Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) to ensure equity and social inclusion, as well as sustainable usage of water resources.  

To help in realize this program goal, the Watershed Work Package 2 (Kenya) held a meeting with its implementing partners and stakeholders from its areas of operation  in Laikipia and Kajiado County as well as at National level, to highlight on areas of intervention on WASH/WRM integration.

The workshop resulted in a common understanding on what is already being done in terms of (WASH-WRM) integration under the umbrella of Watershed Kenya, as well as with practical guidelines for advocacy with government officials regarding this theme.  Through this forum, partners were able to identify key elements on how to strengthen WRM – WASH integration. Rather than focusing on theories and definitions, participants gained important skills on how to map catchments, water uses and water constraints. Different partners shared some of their initiatives that are geared towards the integration of the two. MKEWP and the Laikipia Forum, for instance, shared with the team about the WRUA agency model that describes a financial arrangement between WRA and a WRUA, in which the WRA pays the WRUA for specific services water management services rendered. This role is envisaged in the Water Act 2016 and is as well geared to promote Water Sanitation and Hygiene as well as Water Resources Management in the Region.

The workshop was from the 11th   to 14th of June 2019, Machakos, and had 35 participants.

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