“I am less stressed now, I do the cleaning of my wares from the comfort of my home…I’m very happy; I’m enjoying the service!”

Susan, 45, lives in the informal settlement of Dandora, in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. Dandora is home to one of the largest rubbish dumps in Africa, sprawling across 30 acres.

For Susan, the rubbish dump is the main source of her income. Every day she trawls the huge site looking for old hair extensions that she can re-use. She requires regular supply of clean water to wash her second-hand products before selling them in the local market.

Until recently, Susan had to wake up as early as 4 am to look for water. This involved walking long distances and queuing to access water from a borehole that was salty and of poor quality. More than 90% of the water supplied to the area by the water utility, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC), was often illegally diverted or lost due to leakage and many parts of the water system were controlled by water cartels, who intimidated residents and charged very high prices.

To address this challenge, WSUP has been working with NCWSC to upgrade the area’s water supply system and improve access for the residents of Dandora. A new 23.5 km water supply network was laid out and the old system that had many illegal connections was disconnected.

The water connection has been of great help to Susan – cleaning her recycled hair extensions has become convenient and affordable. She doesn’t spend a lot on detergents anymore as the water quality is better, and she is able to get her goods to her customers on time. Her health has also improved as she doesn’t have to walk long distances to collect water.

With the opportunity to save money, Susan has been able to expand her business; she now sells more recycled hair extensions and second-hand shoes. She also has more time to take care of her family and concentrate on growing her business.

With your help, we can bring improved access to clean water to people like Susan who need it the most.

Donate now

Learn more about our work in Kenya.