In January 2014, Umande Trust conducted a survey on water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH) in the KwaNjenga area of Mukuru, an informal settlement in Nairobi. Access to safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water is a struggle for many residents of Kenya, especially those who live in rural areas and informal settlements. A team from Umande, along with research assistants and an external consultant, conducted a survey in KwaNjenga and interviewed residents, elders and ward managers, National Water and Sewage Corporation (NWSC) employees, water operators, and public benefits organizations about issues in water access and sanitation.
This survey found that water quality, price, and reliability were all major problems facing residents of KwaNjenga. Violence surrounding water is an additional issue, as is sexual harassment against children and girls when travelling to collect water for their families. Umande’s survey helped further bring to light issues that residents of informal settlements in Kenya face surrounding access to water, hygiene, and sanitation—which have been identified by the UN as essential human rights.