UNICEF Kenya has signed a Program Cooperation Agreement with SNV Kenya totalling $1.2 million to improve access to clean drinking water and better sanitation. An estimated 1.61 million people will benefit from new and rehabilitated sources of safe drinking water on a sustainable basis. In addition, 2.8 million people will benefit from the use of new, safe and hygienic sanitation facilities and services in rural areas of the country. This will lead to a reduction of hygiene-related deaths in those areas, particularly among 473,000 children in 789 schools. The agreement is part of a larger Netherlands-funded programme to improve delivery of safe water and sanitation in rural areas and schools towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Kenya.
The agreement was signed on June 18, 2012 by Mr. Harm Duiker, Country Director for SNV in Kenya, and Mr. Kanyankore Marcel Rudasingwa, the UNICEF Resident Representative.
The aim of the agreement is to improve access to safe drinking water and promote sanitation and hygiene in 16 local government counties combined with institutional capacity building and knowledge management. The 16 counties are Busia, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya, Turkana, West Pokot, Kitui, Kajiado, Tana River, Kwale, Nyeri, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Wajir, and Mandera. It is expected that an estimated 0.4 million people will benefit directly from this Cooperation Agreement. Increased focus on sustainability of rural water systems and up-scaling of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) through the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation are among the key results under the agreement. SNV will support in scaling up of behaviour change communication models and stimulate demand for sanitation solutions by communities and schools. In addition SNV will ensure that skilled market actors are producing and selling appropriate low-cost sanitation solutions. Criteria that give preference to potential women entrepreneurs will be developed. Once identified, potential women entrepreneurs will be trained on business development skills so that they can improve leadership skills to be successful in entrepreneurship.
The agreement has embedded issues related to citizen participation, equity of WASH services, gender, transparency and accountability of water services providers, and expansion of services to under-served (poor) areas.
Clean water supply and sanitation are crucial in the realisation of Kenya’s development goals and poverty reduction strategies. The agreement will build capacity for the provision of safe drinking water, as well as promote hygienic/safe handling of drinking water, personal hygiene and sanitation practices in rural areas on a sustainable basis. Accordingly, it is expected to reduce hygiene related-deaths, which account for 20% of mortality of children under five.
SNV Kenya recognizes this Cooperation Agreement as an essential and significant additional step towards the restoration of basic services in Kenya. The Cooperation Agreement is further testimony to the strong commitment of the Kenyan and Netherlands governments, UNICEF and SNV Kenya to support the people of Kenya.
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