2nd Water Governance House Forum

There’s a narrative told in religious contexts that everyone shall give an account of what they did while on earth. A joke alludes to it that there shall be a big screen projecting everyone’s activities one by one. That could give anyone a chill right? The question then would be, is it for the fear of the things that ought to have been done and were never done, or the things that ought not to have been done but were done?

We’re living in such times where accountability in all spheres of life is critical and so much more where

service delivery is at play. Since independence, generations after generations, governments after governments we still have Kenyan households without access clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services. Over 40% of Kenyans lack access to a basic water supply, over 70% lack basic hygiene -: UNEP (2018) These are worrying numbers!

The irony is that we have people in the Northern Kenya suffering a severe drought season, on the other hand we have a young girl who has to trade her dignity for water and we have a household that knows not what a dry tap looks like.

Taking into account all these dynamics and many other not mentioned, the key and arguably the major

factor to improving the water sector is focusing on accountability as a tool for improved and better water governance through deliberate engagements with the communities, government, policy makers,

researchers and every stakeholder who can harness accountability processes and create an environment

where water accountability can be nurtured.

This is a rigorous process and it’s not for the faint -hearted. It requires continuous tooling and re-tooling

for relevance and suitability. No wonder KEWASNET is deliberate in bringing together like -minded

stakeholders who are committed to this course.

“New tools to solving and addressing pressing continental issues are inevitable in creating a movement that can genuinely change the way we think and do things because of the ever-evolving world.” ~ Martin Atela- PASGR~

Accountability has robbed many Kenyans’ accesses to the very basic commodity that is life in itself but

hasn’t the system failed a young woman in Kibera or Mukuru Kwa Njenga who is contemplating suicide

because she cannot pull herself out of a traumatic ordeal that found her trading her body for water?



Sex for water is sextortion. It’s a form of corruption, it’s a crime and a vice that should not have any space or place in our society. We all know that corruption is every society’s worst enemy and poses an enormous threat in realization of sustainable development goals hindering economic growth and empowerment but even worse access to basic services like flow of clean water affordably.

While sextortion may be presented as an elusive allegation, we can’t deny that it’s a form of sexual

exploitation that is often practised by those in power and sadly in areas of service delivery leaving the

victim no choice but to give in to unwanted sexual demands. This is one of the ripple effects of weak

accountability systems in the WASH sector and it must be addressed so that those in power are responsible and answerable to the citizens.

“You cannot violate a human right to give another human right” ~Vincent Ouma- KEWASNET~

 The water governance house stakeholders have folded their sleeves to see to it that there’s progressive

developments in clear policy adoption to curb this corruption and gender violence-based vice that is

hastily creeping into our society and sooner rather than later, it might cripple the society if the right action is not taken.

“The goal for accountability for water is to accelerate the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 6 through evidence generation, outreach and uptake and ultimately building a legacy that can be adopted and learnt beyond our walls.”

~Sylvester Ochieng, PASGR~

 Read more sex for water stories: Sex for Water – COVID 19 – Kewasnet

Whilst, Sex for Water is one of the focus areas of the water governance house in the months to come, the Project Research Fellows (PRFs) are on-ground in various counties collecting evidence of accountability gaps presented in different forms and shapes. Once the evidences are ready the house shall share with key stakeholders for policy making.


1) Community empowerment for better service and accountability: A case of low-income areas in Mumias Sub- County Kenya

2) Demystifying social accountability as an elite agenda: Underscoring the disaggregated value of rural women and youth participation in water sector decision making in Kwale and Kilifi Counties of Coastal Kenya

3) An assessment of solid waste management accountability gaps, barriers and opportunities in Naivasha, Kenya.

4) Promoting better accountability mechanisms and inclusion for sustainable water resources management financing in Baringo County


Let’s do this!

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