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In September 2015 UNICEF identified five Counties Namely Kisumu, Homa Bay, SIAYA, Migori and Busia to either form or Strengthen WASH Platforms in their new Country Strategy.

During KEWASNETs County Introductory meetings in the same Counties it was found that WASH Platforms actually exist but are not active as may be expected.

KEWASNET therefore through the Western Region Office after establishing the gaps participated in reactivating the platforms by supporting their meetings. The platforms were therefore able to plan their meetings, share experiences and reports.This was therefore a joint meeting bringing together all the five Counties to share their experiences, achievements, Challenges and Way forward.

The discussions therefore covered background information on the context IN which the platforms are operational and County Based Status Report and Plans.

Presentations covered Topical areas as highlighted below:

  1. Water and Sanitation Situation in the Counties
  2. Equity in access to safe and sustainability of water services
  3. WASH sector Coordination Capacity Assessment
  4. Individual County Progress Report

It was established that there was so far good progress from four Counties apart from Migori which was just at the formative stage. This progress has been contributed by support received from other WASH partners including KEWASNET, Plan International and SANA International.

Public Participation is a constitutional requirement for any policy or Act being formulated in the Republic of Kenya. It was therefore constitutional for Kisumu County Water Policy to pass through similar process.This was undertaken by training think tank, developing data collection tool and collecting data in 7 sub counties in Kisumu County.

Training and refining tools took 2 days, data collection and report development three days. Information collected is expected to be used by the consultant to beef up Water Policy draft 1 and produce final draft.

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KEWASNET joined stakeholders in celebrating World Water Day held annually every 22nd day of March. This year’s regional celebration was held in Nyabera chief’s camp headquarters in Kisumu County under the theme “Water and Jobs”. The event was graced by the Deputy Governor, Her Excellency Ruth Odinga.

KEWASNET was privileged to plan and organize the event in partnership with other civil society organizations in Kisumu and above all Stakeholders from the county government of Kisumu. Main organizers of the event were WASH Networks within Kisumu County. In attendance were: The Cabinet Secretary for Environment Dr. Jenipher Ogaja, County Executive Committee Member for water Dr. Odera, Chief Officer Water & Environment Mr. Koyier, Chief Officer Environment Madam Loice Omoro, Chief Executive Officer LVSWSB, Managing Director KIWASCO - Eng. Dave Onyango, Partners such as Umande Trust, Sustainability Watch, SANA International, Vitens, NEMA and WASREB, Deputy County Commissioner Kisumu East, Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Hassan, Ward Administrators from Manyatta, Kondele, Nyalenda B , Nyalenda A , Kolwa East, and Migosi, Sub County Administrator Mr. Oricho, among other key stakeholders in the water sector.

World Water Day (WWD) dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. It has been held annually since then. Each year, UN-Water i.e. the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge.

The theme ‘Water and Jobs’, for the year 2016 provides an important opportunity to consolidate and build upon the previous World Water Days to highlight the two-way relationship between water and the decent work agenda in the quest for sustainable development. The theme is also focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods and even transform societies and economies. Today, almost half of the world's workers work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights.

Activities of the day

The day was marked with various activities such as commissioning of Orongo water supply, tree planting in Nyabera chiefs camp, cleaning up river Auji in Kasagam, exhibitions by organizations, speeches and entertainment from Misango Arts, Kasagam secondary school, Kisumu Day Secondary and MMsha Primary school.

Cleaning Up Auji River

The event commenced with the clean up of river Auji at 10:00am. This is a river that should be used by the community along the Kasagam area but it is polluted hence cannot be used domestically or even for agriculture and it flows into Lake Victoria whereby it pollutes the lake water making its treatment quite expensive. The clean up was initiated to restore the river from its health risk status.

Tree planting

Planting trees can provide environmental benefits such as preventing soil erosion, providing shelter for wildlife and decreasing runoff of pollutants into the water. Trees offer energy-saving shade that reduces global warming and creates habitat for thousands of different species. Trees also help to reduce ozone levels in urban areas; they can improve water quality and help mitigate flooding. It is important to select the right varieties for planting along a waterway to ensure of their survival and success.

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BACKGROUND

The Kenya Water and Sanitation CSOs Network (KEWASNET), the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the Swedish (Agency for) International Development Assistance (SIDA) and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Introduces the Water Sector Innovation Awards 2016 (WaSIA 2016).

In its maiden year, WaSIA 2016 seeks to recognize the outstanding contribution by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Government Agencies, individuals and Private Sector Institutions for innovations geared towards increasing access, improving quality, promoting conservation and governance in the water and sanitation sector.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of WaSIA 2016 is to identify, recognize and reward the most outstanding innovations in the WASH sector that have contributed in the achievement of Kenya’s WASH goals under Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, WaSIA 2016 seeks to:-

  1. Provide a Platform for sector players in the public, private and civil society to showcase their activities
  2. Provide visibility for work done in the WASH sector and the sector actors
  3. Help remove the fragmentation and silos in the WASH sector.
  4. Act as an incentive to bring WASH sector players together to share what they do.
  5. Recognize and promote the work being done in the WASH sector
  6. Bring to light new methodologies like WASH financing, approaches in undertaking development e.g. solar kiosk and blue technology

The Innovation awards have been categorized into the public, private and civil society. The rationale for the organizations to take part in the innovation awards include:-

Government

  • Awards create a forum for government to interact with private sector and CSOs in the WASH sector;
  • Since it has the responsibility in provision of water and sanitation services WaSIA provides the government opportunity to recognize the need of involving different stakeholders ;
  • It is part of policy; innovative ideas to get into policy and funding
  • Water is a source of conflict in some case, government can use this awards to bring peace
  • Recognition of its agencies that have been outstanding in WASH service delivery

Private Sector

  • WaSIA provides Visibility and recognition of the private sector;
  • WaSIA leads to In-house capacity building in order to attain the awards;
  • Private sector can use the awards as a branding tool;
  • WaSIA awards gives market advantage to private sector Institutions
  • The Awards provide a platform to interact with other players in the WASH Sector

Civil Society

  • WaSIA provides an opportunity for survival of the institution – justify reason for existence
  • Civil Society has expertise and funding in the water sector that government does not have. The Awards therefore provides an opportunity for CSOs to showcase their innovative ways
  • WaSIA is a Platform for accountability for CSOs
  • Provides an opportunity for policy influencing in the WASH sector

Individuals and organization can nominate themselves or nominate other individuals and organizations for the several categories available for the awards. For those nominating others, kindly ensure that the nominee has provided all the required information and has given their approval by signing at the end of this nomination form. The nomination form must be completed in full and submitted in either hard or electronic copy to the address provided.

Keep logging in for more information on WaSIA Awards 2016.

SDG

The Africa Water Week (AWW) is organized by The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) in partnership with the African Union Commission and other development associates. The biannual event is taking place in Dar es Salaam at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre from the 18th of July to the 22nd of July 2016.

Participants from civil society, regional institutions, governments, , international partners, the private sector, scientific community and the media from all over the world, and more specific Africa, meet to deliberate and jointly pursue solutions to Africa’s water resources, and sanitation predicaments.

Going by the theme “Achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation,” The event that is the first under the SDG era seeks to develop a clear roadmap for developing a comprehensive plan of action for Africa aimed at immediate translation of the high-level commitments including N’gor Declaration on Water Security and Sanitation into implementation at country, sub-regional and continental levels.

This is anticipated to lead to development of suitable policies, high quality actions matched with strong motivation to implement them, and increased investment at various levels. The programmes implemented from these plans will contribute to poverty alleviation, health improvements, social development and economic growth in Africa as well as ensure that there is access to water and sanitation for all through the realization of SDG 6.

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