Using the Water Kiosk to Increase Access to Water for the Urban Poor in Kenya
This case study examines the effort by the government of Kenya to increase the ability of the urban poor to access clean water and sanitation facilities. Drawing on the experiences of Zambia and Burkina Faso, Kenya established the Water Services Trust Fund, a pro-poor basket-funding mechanism to support pilot programs using water kiosks, a low-cost technology for providing clean, safe water. Development partners were convinced to shift their investments from large-scale infrastructure projects to the Trust Fund. Utilities were required to provide services to the poor and, in the main, willingly did so through the Trust Fund’s programs. The successful water kiosk program was scaled up, providing nearly 1.8 million poor Kenyans with access to water at a reasonable cost. Sanitation services are also being developed through the Trust Fund, which has become a professional and trusted organization.
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