Social Impacts of UPC Project Funding

WSP-community relationship:

The capacity building by WSTF and its county resident monitors (CRMs), formerly known as field monitors (FMs), has enabled the WSP build very good rapport with the community members and customers. The reluctance and barriers in customers and community reporting pipe bursts and leakages are gone; the WSP has a toll-free line through which the customers reach the WSP and report any complaints. The WSP has incorporated social services to the community where orphanages are visited and blankets and free foodstuffs are distributed annually. There are many open days where the WSP meets and interacts with its customers to exchange ideas, discuss challenges and enhance awareness and sensitisation.

 

Technical Impacts of UPC Project Funding

UfW, bursts, illegal connections and leakages:

Nawassco registers a very significant decline in their unaccounted-for water of 16% — before WSTF-UPC project funding, their UfW was at 58% and the same currently stands at 42%. Other areas in Nakuru, for instance Naka, had UfW at 58% but currently experience the same at only 6%. Western Zone of Nakuru recorded UfW at 58% before the UPC Funding and currently records it at 22%.

The WSP has put in place Proactive Leakage Control (PLC) where the WSP moves around with equipment to measure leakages on the transmission mains. This has greatly controlled leakages.

On illegal connections, the WSP has put in place an Illegal Use Reduction Team (IURT) that gets information from the company-designated zones.

 

Indicators

Reduced spending on water, improved living conditions:

Yard tap beneficiaries in Nakuru confessed that the idea of yard tap construction has been of much help to them. Landlords/ladies for instance admit that the hygiene within the plots have greatly improved in that yard taps have a very well designed fetching bay that enables water collectors fetch water in a clean environment, unlike the old tap where water containers were just put on the bare ground.

One John Ochieng Ngutu, a landlord aged 62 years with a family of 18 persons and a resident of Rhonda in Nakuru, used to spend over KES 100 per day on water due to his large family size. This literally translates to over KES 3,000 per month spent on water since a 20-litre jerry can was sold at KES 10 by water vendors. He currently gets a monthly water bill of between KES 300 and KES 650. He further reveals that the savings so far made on water have been diverted to his children’s school fees and paying of electricity bills to enable his children read and revise at home.

 

Reduced spending on medication for cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea:
When comparing with the year 2010, before Nawassco received their first UPC Project Funding, a group comprising the Public Health Officer (PHO), village elder, Women Representative, Youth Representative, CBO representatives and Area Chief, who were interviewed in a focus group discussion, confirmed that Rhonda was well known for water-related outbreaks of disease. To make matters worse, during the month of April when there were long rains, doctors and health personnel would be on standby due to the well-known fact that there would be a disease outbreak. WSTF, through Nawassco water projects in the area, has brought about a decline in water-related diseases hence reduces spending on medication. Most water collection points and sources were not clean and or could not be tested to be hygienic.

 

Increased time in school, increased child cleanliness and reduced child labour:
A case study of Mavoko Water Company revealed that children mostly were given the task of collecting water from the distant water collection points. They would be bypassed by the adults and sometimes deliberately delayed at the water collection points to avoid going to school. The water scarcity meant that children would only bathe once a week, on a Saturday, when they were all allowed to go to the nearest river, the Athi, over 1 km away. There were occasions when parents would skip meals because they wanted to save on food in order to afford water. In Nakuru’s Rhonda estate, it emerged that some little girls ended up in marriage when they were sent to fetch water in Shabab estate, approximately 3 km from Rhonda.

 

Sanitation

It emerged from the focus group discussion at Mavoko’s Slaughter Area that the area was originally known as ‘Cargo Area’ where flying toilets (plastic bags as depositories of human waste) were the order of the day. Husbands would literally accompany their wives for a long call because no one was certain about what would befall their wives in the process of relieving themselves. The WSP partnered with the PHO at Mavoko and with the UPC funding, sanitation sanity was restored and currently, residents prefer to stay on plots with well-connected sewer toilets. In Nakuru’s Rhonda estate, residents were scared of the high cost of individually connecting to a sewer line, which at the time could cost a group as much as KES 115,000. Currently, they only need to part with a connection fee of KES 2,500.

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