The EU together with Sweden, Finland and Denmark are mobilising a total of Ksh 211 million (€ 1.8 million) to work together with local communities to enhance access to water in public places, market centres, health institutions, police stations, military barracks and prisons across Kenya. This response will target 119 000 people in COVID-19 hotspots and potential hotspots in 25 counties. Kenya is at its initial stages, but it is clear that the pandemic is a major economic and livelihood threat to rural communities living off a mixture of agriculture and livestock herding. The shutting down of key economic institutions, like markets, has had a huge impact on the income and social interaction amongst the rural communities leading to underemployment of informal workers.
In the words of the EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue: “The EU and its Member States are working hard towards reorienting development funding to areas where it is critically needed in response to this pandemic. This is one quick win, as we seek to mobilise more resources to this end. This response targets nearly 120,000 people from areas that don’t have access to lifesaving water and handwashing facilities.”
The focus will lie on building communal handwashing facilities in urban low-income areas, the supply of soap for distribution with handwashing tanks, and sanitation and hygiene promotion through engaging with the Public Health Officers and Community Health Workers and Volunteers.
Taking these vital steps can go a long way in saving numerous lives!
The EU and its Member States are working hard towards reorienting development funding to areas where it is critically needed in response to this pandemic. This is one quick win, as we seek to mobilise more resources to this end. This response targets nearly 120,000 people from areas that don’t have access to lifesaving water and handwashing facilities.
Simon Mordue, EU Ambassador to Kenya
Our partners, RECONCILE have intensified awareness raising, through the production of awareness material and emphasis on the importance of adhering to guidelines set out by the WHO and enforced by the Kenyan government.
A project supported under the Participatory Rangelands Management, the Koitegan Community Forest, supports the rehabilitation of rangelands by managing and protecting the forest. RECONCILE has worked together with this community in assisting them to plant over 3,000 seeds of the croton tree and donating a water dispenser. The aim is to encourage communities to protect these resources in order to secure water sources and reduce wind erosion. This will enhance the communities’ access to water and a clean environment, which is a major factor in fighting COVID-19.
This pandemic, a disease killing people in large numbers the best we can do is to observe hygiene washing hands, keeping distance and putting on face masks. This water dispenser donated by the project is a great gesture.
Edwin Tanui secretary of one of these sites, the Koitegan Commmunity Forest Association
The RECONCILE team conducted a site visit on the 9th of April 2020 during which they reflected together with the community and strengthened the communities resolve and commitment to a clean environment.
Improving access to water and sanitation services will be a critical driver in our continuous efforts to combat this pandemic!