But over time, NAWASSCO has also started to develop a different technology which provides even more benefits for women – pre-paid dispensers, which can be located closer to people’s homes.

“When we came up with the pre-paid meters, we realised that this was very good, especially for women,” says Zaituni. “We always try to come up with technologies that will favour women.”

“Instead of going to fetch water, at the water kiosk or from the rivers, they are able to get water from within their plots – they save time by not having to travel to get water.”

Accessing water in a low-income community in Nakuru

“Hygiene has also really improved because they have all the water and they are able to keep their surroundings clean.”

Expanding NAWASSCO’s ability to serve low-income communities

Thanks for Zaituni’s leadership, NAWASSCO is becoming better able to serve the low-income communities of Nakuru.

“When the pro-poor unit of NAWASSCO was started, it was just a one-man show.

Through WSUP we did a restructure of the low-income consumer unit, whereby we carried out a capacity needs assessment for the unit  – what is required for the unit to move to another level.

We realised that there was a capacity gap. There was a need to bring more people on board. For example, with the new pre-paid meters, who is supposed to maintain them? I cannot do this on my own.

We presented to the Board, and the board could see that if the unit had more capacity, we would be able to generate more revenue.

Now, I have an assistant, and we also have a marketer and a plumber in the department. On top of that, WSUP has helped to bring on board marketers, to market the company products in low-income areas like promotion of pre-paid meters and sewer connections.”

Building on the momentum

More women need to support WASH in order to build on the momentum already created in Nakuru, says Zaituni:

“I’m just hoping that women in Kenya will be the ones shouting about WASH.”

“If we can have people training small groups of women in low-income areas on how to make sanitary pads locally available, this will actually be the best – because this will save our girls from dropping out of schools. This will also save our women from shying away from the public. If women can also advocate for cheap water, we are not going to have so many challenges with cholera.”

“If women can also advocate for cheap water, we are not going to have so many challenges with cholera and other waterborne diseases.”

 

WSUP’s work with the Nakuru Water, Sewerage and Sanitation Services Company has been funded by:

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, European Commission, Kenya Markets Trust, the UK Department for International Development and USAID.