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March 06, 2022

Support Kenya Water for Health

topic: Sustainable Development
type: Donation, NGO
by: Quinta Thomson

Founded in 1967, KWAHO is the first indigenous Kenyan NGO that works to implement Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion at the community level. 

Working to "facilitate all-inclusive and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene programmes for marginalised communities," the organisation is championing an innovative approach to water and sanitation aid.

Not only is KWAHO tackling the severe consequences of unsafe water, but the organisation simultaneously adopts an innovative human rights-based approach that works on empowering communities. Through a focus on community participation and ownership, KWAHO’s work is far more sustainable than that of many foreign organisations whose impacts are often brief and unsustainable. 

By allowing communities to have vested interests in projects, KWAHO has found the projects themselves to last longer, to have more equity in the allocation of water across different social and economic groups and pose a larger incentive to protect the resources and the associated ecosystems that may be sustaining them.

The guiding principle of KWAHO’s work is the recognition of individuals as actors in their own development, as opposed to passive recipients of services. In identifying essential ‘rights-holders’ and ‘duty-bearers’, the organisation places responsibility on every individual involved in the project to nurture cooperation and set trends of empowerment within localised communities. 

These themes inform the NGO’s county-level mobilisation and capacity development programme, where initiatives are coming directly from the communities. KWAHO’s work of community empowerment is complemented by a focus on influencing policy and teaching communities how to make effective and accountable change at all levels of society.

The large scope of the organisation’s work is presented in the example of its recently initiated youth parliaments. In accordance with their values of inclusion and empowerment, leaders of the organisation recognised the exclusion of young people from WASH governance and immediately acted to implement change. 

This came in the form of youth parliaments in the Busia and Kakamega counties that instigated both youth participation and leadership. In this sense, KWAHO works not only on building access to water resources, but in the cultivation of human resources that can work together to solve issues from the community to the national level. Since inception, KWAHO has reached over 3 million people, primarily those facing the brunt of Kenya’s water crisis.

Such an innovative and genuinely impactful organisation needs support. You can learn more about KWAHO’s mission and projects on its website. While the most effective form of support is through donation, you can nonetheless contact the organisation for more information or to inquire about collaboration opportunities.

Image by Alex Perez

kwaho.org
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