Kenya is a generally dry country, as about 80 percent of the country is arid and semi-arid. The average annual rainfall in Kenya is 630 millimetres (mm) with a variation from less than 200 mm in Northern Kenya to over 1,800 mm on the slopes of Mt. Kenya.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya has the third largest number of people in absolute numbers (10.6 million) and by percentage of population (23 per cent) that have no access to a water system - a statistic incongruous to its middle-income status.
Throughout the East African nation, there are various geographic and socio-economic inequalities in terms of access to WASH. For instance, 87% of the country’s urban population enjoys access to safe water compared to only 50% of its rural inhabitants.
Due to continued population growth, it has been estimated that by the year 2025, Kenya’s per capita water availability will be 235 cubic meters per year, about two-thirds less than the current 650 cubic meters.
Kenya has seen four major droughts. The most recent was the one in late 2016 when the rains failed, a severe drought hit the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, affecting 2.7 million people.
9.9 million Kenyan people drink directly from contaminated surface water sources.
Contamination of drinking water is another major challenge worsening Kenya’s water crisis. With a large percentage of population dependent on surface water and pit latrines that are often close in distance, faecal contamination is inevitable.
Water-borne diseases are the leading cause of death among Kenyan children under the age of five.
Only 25 per cent of the population have hand-washing facilities with soap and water at home.
The Government of Kenya has set an ambitious target of universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services (WASH) by 2030. To achieve this, there needs to be greater financial resources, estimated at USD $12.9 billion dollars, to expand and improve WASH services. However, the current available government budget for WASH is USD $5.6 billion, leaving a USD $7 billion gap.
What are we doing to help?
Project Maji replaces broken handpumps and defunct borewells with solar-powered water kiosks in Kenya and Ghana. Our work contributes directly to SDG 6.1, helping to achieve universal access to basic drinking water from an improved source with collection time under 30 minutes for a roundtrip. Since the start of our Kenyan operations, our donors have supported us in investing approximately 200,000 USD across our 14 sites. Till date, Project Maji has served over 14,000 Kenyans with 18,081,770 litres of safe water. Learn more about our impact in Kenya and otherwise in our brand new Impact Report 2020-2021.