Nakuru County has installed eight permanent handwashing stations with clean drinking water out of the funding from UN-Habitat to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The project was initiated by the newly formed Nakuru Municipality Board through the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA).
The municipality, which comprises of Nakuru Town East and West constituencies, face myriad of challenges including water shortage and poor sanitation that has affected more than 600, 000 residents.
According to municipality officials, each handwashing facility, which has a separate tap for drinking water, will serve up to 31,000 residents.
The board’s urban planning and infrastructure committee chairman Kamau Kuria said the establishment of the facility was timely coming at the time when Kenya, like the rest of the world, was fighting the coronavirus.
“We thank our partners for this project that is key not only to the fight against Covid 19 but will enable residents to access clean drinking water,” Mr. Kuria said.
During the launch, Nakuru’s Deputy Governor Erick Korir also appreciated the support by the UN-Habitat.
Dr Koriri who represented Governor Lee Kinyanjui at the event held at Bondeni Social Hall stated: “We are keen to establish sustainable sanitation measures that will help our people during and after this Covid-19 pandemic. Nakuru County has so far recorded 191 cases which show how close this disease is to us.”
The handwashing stations are part of the activities under the UN-Habitat Covid-19 Action Plan for Kenya currently under implementation in six counties across the country.
They are managed by community youth groups trained by KARA and the County Government’s Public Health Department to create jobs for local youth.
It is aligned to the national government’s “Kazi Mtaani” which aims to address Covid-19 in urban areas while enhancing economic recovery by providing employment opportunities for youth and women.
UN-Habitat also donated surgical masks, provided by TLC Foundation, to be used by youth assistants managing the stations as well as Community Health Volunteers within the Municipality.
To further ensure sustainability, the Nakuru Municipal Board has set up a technical team to review and develop new municipal WASH by-laws, to strengthen compliances and enforcement.