Before his village was triggered to become Open Defecation Free (ODF), Kenyan Mohamed Adan, 40, a resident of Qahira Village in Wajir County, would look every day for a different spot to defecate to avoid the embarrassment of being spotted.
“Never in my life had I thought of constructing a latrine in my compound, but I am glad I did,” said Mr. Adan. “I am also glad that we don’t have to hold our waste anymore or risk getting attacked at night while defecating in the open, especially for our women and girls. Now we are happy that every household has a latrine and relieving ourselves is not embarrassing anymore.”
With innovative and targeted programming in Kenya, in just under three years WSSCC has empowered more than 81,500 people to live in ODF environments and supported over 63,500 people to access improved toilets.
WSSCC funds the Kenya Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (KSHIP) to help drive the national sanitation agenda, implemented by Amref in 11 sub-counties across 11 counties. WSSCC’s strategic approach has two main pillars: 1) to ensure that country policies, capacities and mechanisms leave no one behind, and 2) to support safe sanitation and hygiene access and use for everyone, everywhere.
Accordingly, in 2016 WSSCC together with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF organized the first National Training of Trainers on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). KSHIP assisted the effort, which emboldened a cadre of trainers, including government officials, to help break the silence on menstruation by enhancing their knowledge and skills.
Collective Behaviour Change for Sanitation
Results are being achieved through innovative programming that adapts to the local context. For example, implementing partners in the Muslim Wajir County work with Imams to share Water Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) messages in mosques. Thus, 13 villages have become ODF – the first in the county.
The programme has provided technical support for 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 and is working with partners to develop delivery models capable of achieving ODF wards (Government subdivision one level below the sub-county).
Working with partners, KSHIP has used Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) to encourage communities to champion sanitation and construct facilities without relying on subsidies.
The recently held Inter-Ministerial dialogue in Abuja highlighted the need for a harmonized national sanitation policy to end open defecation
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The training features the three key elements of MHM which are: Breaking the Silence, Managing Menstruation Hygienically, and Safe Reuse and Disposal