Kenya

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CLTS was introduced in Kenya by Plan Kenya in May 2007. The interventions generated interest with the then Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MOPHS) and NGOs who thereafter participated in various hands-on CLTS trainings. In 2010, MOPHS in partnership with UNICEF and SNV embarked on a pilot in six districts in Nyanza and Western Kenya. A team of national trainers was trained who went trained the district teams.

From lessons learned in this initiative, MOPHS was inspired to adopt CLTS as a key strategy for scaling up sanitation in Kenya. A roadmap dubbed the ODF Rural Kenya 2013 was developed and launched on 11th May 2011. The roadmap entailed working through partnerships and devolved government structures throughout rural Kenya to reach all the communities and ensure that they are ODF. It also provided for a Knowledge Management Hub to coordinate this campaign. Operations at the Hub kicked off in September 2011 and were further strengthened by greater partner commitments made in 2012.

According to a MOH-UNICEF report, out of 59,915 villages in Kenya, 9,126 had been triggered and 2,567 declared ODF by March 2014 as a result of the campaign. The ODF Campaign has continued to grow with quality owing to a number of contributing factors such as good coordination, regular interaction and communication amongst stakeholders. The key interaction points between stakeholders are the Inter-agency Coordinating Committee (ICC) and the Technical Working Groups. Each quarter, the Ministry of Health through the hub, organizes for Inter-agency Coordinating Committee (ICC) meetings that bring together all stakeholders in the WASH sector to discuss and brainstorm on how to steer sanitation and hygiene issues forward. The effectiveness of the coordination structures in Kenya was exemplified in the First National Sanitation Conference “Accelerating Access to Improved Sanitation under Devolution: Making the Right a Reality” which took place in April 2014. The conference brought together MoH staff, county PHOs, CECs of Health and partners and culminated in the signing of county commitments to allocate substantial budgets to sanitation and hygiene and champion for improved sanitation in their counties.

The WASH Hub at the Ministry of Health has played a central role in coordinating, documenting and reporting on the CLTS campaign. On capacity building and backstopping support, the hub has been instrumental in spearheading county reflection workshops that have become vital mechanisms for enhancing quality of CLTS. The Hub has also adopted an on-line monitoring and reporting system that captures updates on CLTS on a real time basis. So far about 8 counties are reporting through the system.  The Hub keeps stakeholders informed through the quarterly Shared Sanitation and Hygiene Information and Tales (SSHIT) newsletter which is usually circulated during the various ICCs and through the website.

The increased demand for sanitation through CLTS has led to an increased demand for appropriate sanitation hardware. For this reason partners have started engaging in sanitation marketing to address the demand of these products.

The current devolution process in Kenya provides a very strong opportunity to support the acceleration of access to sanitation in each of the 47 counties. The role of the Central government remains predominantly that of policy formulation and oversight while the county governments’ role is that of implementation.
However, this devolved system of government and transfer of the health functions to the counties, is not without challenges.  Unfortunately, some counties have not appreciated CLTS as an intervention that improves standards of sanitation and hygiene. Therefore, due to the low priority accorded to CLTS, most counties do not fund CLTS activities nor promote its uptake.

(August 2015)