Kwale County has for a long time been struggling to cope with chronic water shortages and the inadequacies of their existing water infrastructure. This is despite the fact that adequate drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene are all essential ingredients to ensure human health.This problem is being addressed through the funds being directed to Counties for development as per the devolution guidelines. Water and sanitation has been identified and budgets set aside for their infrastructure development. This is because poor water supply and sanitation has long been regarded as the big constraint to a smooth devolution in Kwale County. Inadequate access to clean safe water supply and adequate sanitation especially in rural areas of the County is a major contributing factor to poverty.
With large sums of money being invested in Water and Sanitation infrastructure, another problem is emerging. Most of the infrastructure especially the ones meant for community have stalled. One such infrastructure is the Mazumalume Community Borehole which was funded by the County Government with assistance from the World Bank. The project was started in the year 2014 complete with taps, piping, pumping system and solar for pumping water. However, the project stalled after one year of operation.
Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network (KEWASNET) with assistance from Danish People’s Aid (DPA) is implementing a project that seeks to contribute to an improved quality of life of the disadvantaged in Kilifi and Kwale counties by improved WASH services . The project is implemented in Kilifi and Kwale Counties. One of the key activities of this project is the maintenance and safeguarding of the WASH infrastructure. Two training workshops have already organized in lunga lunga and Msambweni Sub-Counties of Kwale County.
These two trainings have had a positive outcome for the community of Mazumalume, The Community who are members of the Kwale County Natural Resources Network, used the training given to approach the County government to repair the project and start maintaining and safeguarding it. They plan to ensure the sustainability of the project through community led maintenance and safeguarding it. They emphasized the need for community ownership and management approach, making the end-users directly responsible for the operation and maintenance of the installed facilities.