Kenya is one of the most unequal countries in the world.

A rapidly growing urban population has led to overcrowded informal settlements where residents have little access to water and sanitation services. Children living in these settlements in Nairobi are more than twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday than those living in other areas of the city.

Nearly two thirds of urban residents have no access to improved sanitation, and access to water has actually dropped over the last 15 years. Over half of the existing toilets in Nakuru are pit latrines, most of which are shared. Poor conditions like these directly impact on the health, safety and dignity of people living in these communities.

What are we doing to help?
We have worked in Kenya since 2006, forming partnerships with service providers, local governments and other stakeholders to create affordable and sustainable water and sanitation services for low-income urban communities.

1,271,000 people with improved water services
362,000 people with improved sanitation services
650,000 people who have received hygiene training

Where we work in Kenya

Key activities in Kenya

Influencing the regulatory environment

We work with the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), and in partnership have developed a key performance indicator to encourage utilities to improve services for low-income customers. In 2016 and 2017 we helped WASREB run a series of workshops which enabled 40 utilities understand how they can meet the key performance indicators, and we continue to support this process. Our work has led to WASREB redesigning its information system so it can improve its tracking of how well utilities are serving low-income communities.

Blog: June 2018 – Achieving national impact through regulatory improvements

Supporting investment into the water and sanitation sector

We’ve supported the development of the 2014-2019 business plan and resource strategy for the Water Sector Trust Fund, a government-owned investment fund aimed at supporting low-income communities. We help formalise how it invests in Kenya utilities, and to become more investment friendly, particularly to international funders.

Connections from major infrastructure into low-income communities

We work with Kenyan utilities to help make sure investment from international financial institutions has the most effective impact on connections to low-income customers. Getting water and sewerage connections into low-income communities is extremely challenging. Major city-wide investment programmes often focus on major infrastructure, so we’ve used our expertise in this area to ensure connections are extended from major infrastructure to low-income areas in Kenyan cities. We’re also working alongside World Bank-funded programmes in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru to achieve this change.



WSUP’s Urban Sanitation Research Initiative is being implemented in Kenya in partnership with WASREB and the Ministry of Health. Supported by UK government aid, the programme aims to generate research that delivers sanitation policy change in Bangladesh, Ghana, and Kenya.

Read more about our research work.

Urban Sanitation Research Initiative Kenya logo

To find out how you can support our work in Kenya, please contact us at or call us on +44 (0)20 7822 1867.