People living in the informal settlement of Dandora in Nairobi often have to walk long distances from their homes to collect water, queue for lengthy periods and pay high prices to vendors. Under the SWIFT programme, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor has been working in partnership with the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company to upgrade the water supply to Dandora and improve the access of low-income consumers.
The community is now enjoying a reliable supply of safe drinking water at as little as a fifth of the cost they had previously been paying. Women have more time to spend with their families and on their livelihoods, and children have more time for their education and homework. Health in the community is reported to have improved, and new housing plots are being developed.
To ensure the changes will be sustainable, WSUP and NCWSC have focused on being inclusive and encouraging a sense of community ownership. Information sharing is playing a key role, as is the project task team: 16 people who act as advocates for their community, including representatives of the elders, youth, women, religious leaders, people with disabilities and leaders from each ‘village’.
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