Access to water is a basic human right. Safe drinking water is something everyone in Kenya needs. Kenyans depend heavily on water resources, not only as drinking, but also for crops, agriculture, livestock and fishing. Predictable access to water expands job options for both men and women and support broad based economic development. When safe water is reliable and accessible, food security and nutrition can be improved. When wastewater is adequately treated, environmental quality, food safety, and human health are better protected.
41% of Kenyans lack sufficient access to safe drinking water, whilst 20% lack access to continuous safe water. Improving access as well as quality is becoming increasingly urgent particularly in water-scarce counties such as Turkana, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera and Wajir. Projections are that by 2025, two thirds of the populations in these counties could be living in severe water stress conditions, adversely affecting individuals, communities and economies.
The “Maji na Uhai” is a Safaricom Foundation initiative that seeks to provide development assistance to the vulnerable rural communities mainly in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of Kenya. The Foundation, through partnership with the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and Action Aid International Kenya (AAIK), has been implementing projects in water supply, sanitation, hygiene education and livelihoods/food security interventions in order to mitigate shocks that perennially affect communities as well as build their resilience.