Bomet County launches Ksh.47 billion masterplan for water, sanitation hygiene
Bomet County has launched a master plan for
achieving universal basic access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for
all residents of the county.
The master plan sets out a roadmap for
achieving safe sanitation, for the over 1 million residents, meaning people will
have an improved sanitation facility on their premises that meets their needs,
and a place to wash their hands with soap and water by 2030.
It also aims to provide each of
the residents with a clean and reliable source of water within 1 kilometre of
their house by 2036.
Launched at the county headquarters by area
Governor Prof Hillary Barchok, the document is a culmination of a two-year
process, initiated and then facilitated by Dig Deep (Africa) in close
collaboration with the county’s departments of Water, Public Health and Medical
Services, as well as the Kenya Red Cross, AquaClara Kenya and World Vision
“We started in 2020 by doing a survey in
all five wards of Sotik sub-county and counted data on basic hygiene in all
areas, including schools,” said Dig Deep (Africa) Head of Programmes Justus
He added: “We put people in four categories; men, women, youth and persons living with disabilities, conducted public participation after which we did data analysis.”
The survey, which involved over 13,000
households and is representative of 228,000 people in Sotik sub-county,
confirmed that eight out of every 10 people in Bomet lack access to clean
water, safe toilets and good hygiene, a worrying statistic that requires urgent
Dig Deep (Africa), an organisation that
focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene, has directly reached over 200,000
people in Kenya with clean water, safe toilets and good hygiene since 2007 and
had already achieved a lot in Bomet even before the masterplan was mooted.
In partnership with Sotik-CDF, Dig Deep has
supported over 50 schools to get clean water and safe sanitation, enabling
girls to stay in school and reducing absenteeism due to the stigma associated
with monthly periods.
They also worked with the county government
to ensure Ndanai-Abosi ward achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, meaning
4,165 households in the 101 villages had access to a toilet and handwashing
But with the worrying statistics in the
county requiring a lot of resources, an elaborate plan that sets out a
long-term strategy was needed and that is when Justus and his team, also
including Programmes Officer Joe Hook and Project Officers Nelly Chepkorir and
Field Officer Nicky Ronoh, together with Dr Joseph Sitonik, Chief Executive
Commissioner for Medical Services and Public Health and his Water and
Sanitation counterpart Eng Peter Tonui combined their efforts to formalise the
burned the midnight oil in an effort to come up with the masterplan.
The master plan sets the strategic
interventions in four phases running from 2022 to 2050 at a cost of $398
million (Ksh.47 billion) with the first one being from 2023-2027.
“We have spent a lot to treat diseases but
if we can invest in preventing the diseases, it will save us a lot of money and
improve our health,” said Barchok after signing an MoU between the County
Government of Bomet and Dig Deep, led by its global CEO Ben Skelton.
“We will follow and honour this MoU and for
easy implementation, we must integrate this document in the County Integrated
Development Plan and I am sure in five years’ time, we will not underperform,”
Skelton urged the county government to take
ownership of the masterplan if it has to be implemented fully.
“I first visited Bomet 10 years ago and I
have seen partnerships flourish. I have seen those projects help students stay
in school and parents improve their families and livelihoods,” observed
He went on: “The publication of this
Masterplan means people of Bomet will plan effectively, and mobilise more
resources for WASH activities in their county. I thank the county government
for taking ownership of this project and this gives me confidence that it will
be a success.”
Bomet Deputy Governor Shadrack Rotich is
keen to ensure full implementation of the masterplan as this will set them
apart from the rest as the only county to have complied with the Sustainable
Development Goal No 6, ‘ensuring availability and sustainable management of
water and sanitation for all.’
“If we sign an MoU like this, it binds the
county government to provide funds and staff to implement. Secondly, this
document will be tabled before the County Assembly to oversight its
implementation,” revealed Rotich.
Tonui and Sitonik, whose dockets will be
primarily tasked with seeing the project to fruition, are thrilled to see the
plan finally ready.
“In this masterplan, we have taken care of
issues that can arise due to climate change. We have also incorporated menstrual
hygiene and included how the boys can talk about it to destigmatise the issue,”
“If we improve sanitation and hygiene by
2030, we will increase life expectancy in Bomet from 63 to 70.”
Sitonik weighed in: “We want to move away
from donor-dependance to partnerships which shows the commitment of the county
government. This makes ownership of the project easy and that is the route we
have embraced going forward.
“Our governor has committed to account for
each coin because we know people denied themselves something somewhere to
contribute to this programme.”
County WASH coordinator Gladys Chelagat and
Sotik Sub-County Public Health Officer Lucina Bett shared the same message.
“Dig Deep have been helping a lot in our
villages but we still have gaps and that is why we are calling on others to
come on board,” said Chelagat.
Bett added: “As a public health officer, I
am passionate because this document will help increase resources to health.”
As the county government looks forward to
implementing the masterplan, Dig Deep continues to implement immediate,
practical solutions to change lives in Bomet and besides their work in
Ndanai-Abosi, they also launched a water project in Gorgor on World Water Day
which now sees over 200 households access clean and safe water after years of
“Kipsonoi ward, which has 120 villages, is
now our focus as we want to ensure it is declared Open Defecation Free,” said
Dig Deep (Africa) Head of Programmes, Tanui.
Dig Deep has also founded the county’s
water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Hub to drive sustainable change across the
county. To find out more about Dig Deep, please visit: www.digdeep.org.uk
Bomet’s five constituencies, Bomet Central, Bomet East, Chepalungu, Sotik and Konoin, have 25 wards.
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