Operations Research to increase understanding of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) related issues in Kilifi, Taita Taveta and Bomet Counties in Kenya, with a view to informing practice and policy

Author: Dr.Uzma Alam

In 2014, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) with financial and technical support from the British Red Cross (BRC) begun implementing a large-scale, comprehensive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) intervention which will run until 2018. This WASH in Kenya project seeks to improve hygiene and sanitation practices and increase access to improved water and sanitation for 155,000 women, men, girls and boys in Bomet, Taita Taveta and Kilifi Counties.   The WASH Project in Kenya has been designed to include a proactive, reflective and evidence based programming approach. As such operational research is being conducted by ICHA to specifically to understand;   * What is the legal and policy framework for the water sector in Kenya (National and County Governments)?   * How do community beliefs, traditions, cultural, social & religious norms influence the use of latrines in the target communities?   * What is the impact of the government’s (GoK) non-subsidy sanitation policy on achieving ODF in the targeted counties?   * How accountable are the Water Companies to the targeted communities?   The learning from the research will be used to inform program adaptation. Further it will also assist in filling in some of the gaps in the current understanding of WASH interventions and thus provide knowledge for a broad range of stakeholders. As such it is expected that the learning will be shared, as relevant, with communities and with WASH actors both locally and internationally.