The Global Sanitation Fund-supported programme in Kenya

Date: 15th May 2015

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GSF Kenya Launch

James Macharia, Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary for Health, together with GSF stakeholders at the official launch of the GSF-supported programme. Photo: WSSCC


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Chaired by the Director of Public Health at the Division of Environmental Health, Ministry of Health

The Kenya Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (KSHIP) works to reduce the disease burden resulting from poor sanitation and hygiene, while helping to improve health outcomes. KSHIP works in 11 sub-counties across 11 counties, through local NGOs, private companies, and community-based organizations. Through behaviour change programming and advocacy targeting local governments and stakeholders, KSHIP helps drive the national sanitation movement.

2016 Highlights

The programme successfully completed its first year of implementation in 2016, aligning its work with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This included a focus on inclusive programming and addressing the needs of women, girls and people in vulnerable situations, as set in SDG 6.2.

KSHIP also provided technical support to national processes that led to the launch of key strategy documents such as the Kenya Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene Policy and the National ODF Kenya 2020 Campaign Framework. The programme will support county governments to customize these policy documents towards achieving national goals. KSHIP also worked with partners across its target sub-counties to develop delivery models capable of achieving ODF wards.

The programme supported WSSCC, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF to organize the first National Training of Trainers on Menstrual Hygiene Management. The training helped break the silence on menstruation and empower government officials with knowledge and skills on MHM. Together with partners, the programme trained 30 Kenya Medical Training College lecturers in CLTS, as well as in WASH and nutrition. The programme expects that the CLTS knowledge gained will be incorporated into the lecturers’ training programmes. In addition, KSHIP helped organize the first Kenya Water Week. The event highlighted the important role that WASH plays in improving health, safety and dignity, while promoting MHM and the needs of people with disabilities.

By the end of the year, the programme reported supporting over 81,500 people to live in ODF environments, and close to 49,000 to access improved toilets. In addition, 13 villages in Wajir County were declared ODF, which are the first ODF villages in the county. The programme has also engaged 54 schools with Triggering, MHM and other collective behaviour change activities.


Long periods of drought forced households in some areas to shift their priorities from sanitation and hygiene to food and water. The programme therefore worked closely with partners supplying water to communities, while engaging religious, traditional and natural leaders to continually promote sanitation and hygiene behaviour change.

To address the challenge of facilities collapsing during flooding in Wajir County, KSHIP held discussions with the County Executive Committee member focused on health and land issues. This led to a commitement to dig trenches to drain water from swampy areas.

In some counties, communities still rely heavily on subsidies because of drought and food shortages that affect livelihoods. Working with partners, KSHIP has used CLTS to encourage communities to champion sanitation and construct facilities, without relying on subsidies.

Learning and innovation

KSHIP engages all implementing partners in interactive learning through physical and virtual exchanges, which include real-time learning to solve programmatic issues as they occur. In 2016, KSHIP was introduced to systems thinking at a reflection event with other GSF-supported programmes in Brighton, England, and it will work to incorporate this approach in its programming. The programme also participated in learning exchanges involving GSF colleagues from Uganda and Ethiopia, which helped build knowledge and skills in Follow-up MANDONA and Institutional Triggering.

KSHIP also co-facilitated a learning event in Kenya involving GSF colleagues from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Senegal. Engaging implementing partners on the ground, the event provided a platform to share experiences in implementing the Real-Time Learning and Participatory Social Assessment and Mapping approaches adopted in Cambodia, and an MHM orientation was also facilitated.

Implementing partners in Wajir County have used teachings from the Quran and Hadith to help sensitize people on the importance of sanitation and hygiene, and they worked with Imams to share these messages in mosques. This approach led to 13 villages being declared ODF, the first ever in the county.

Looking ahead

Given the progress made, KSHIP will likely achieve several ODF wards in 2017. In 2017, KSHIP will focus on facilitating follow-up activities in triggered villages, engaging the most vulnerable groups, rolling out Follow-up MANDONA and Institutional Triggering, honing the skills of Natural Leaders and developing its real-time learning approach. The programme will also enhance its advocacy at the county level.

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