Home NEWS County News Dig Deep Africa, Bomet County launch water, sanitation, and hygiene hub

Dig Deep Africa, Bomet County launch water, sanitation, and hygiene hub

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Dig Deep (Africa) Head of Programmes Mr. Justus Tanui (right) said the hub will be used by all partners in the WASH sector.
Dig Deep (Africa) Head of Programmes Mr. Justus Tanui (right) said the hub will be used by all partners in the WASH sector.

Dig Deep Africa and the County Government of Bomet on Saturday, April 4, 2024, launched the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Hub that will enable learning in the sector.

Speaking during the launch, Dig Deep (Africa) Head of Programmes Justus Tanui said the centre will be used by partners to share ideas and analyse data on how to implement WASH projects in the county.

“The main aim of the hub is to ensure that we have a one-stop shop when it comes to the implementation of WASH projects in the county.

“We know that the county has high competing interests in resource sharing but when partners come together, they ensure that the county has some workload off their shoulders,” Tanui stated.

At the same time, Tanui said the organisation has been engaged in water projects in the county through spring protection and rainwater harvesting in schools and communities.

“As Dig Deep, we have done a lot in water. We have done spring protection, and rainwater harvesting in schools. We intend to do community rainwater harvesting in the Chepalungu sub-county and lower Bomet East Sub-county since there are very few springs.

We also want to venture into a collection of rainwater in tea buying centres in tea growing areas,” Tanui said.

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok and Dig Deep Global CEO Ben Skelton during the launch of Bomet WASH Hub on Saturday, May 4, 2024.
Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok and Dig Deep Global CEO Ben Skelton during the launch of Bomet WASH Hub on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

On his part, Bomet County Governor Prof. Hillary Brachok thanked Dig Deep (Africa) saying it has done a lot for Bomet residents in the WASH sector.

“Dig Deep has done a lot in the water sector in this county. The organisation has been working a lot in Sotik Sub-County and I’m happy that they are now expanding to other five sub-counties in Bomet.

“This hub will be a coordinating centre not only for activities that we are doing with Dig Deep but also for other partners in the WASH sector,” Barchok said.

The governor said the hub is ICT-enabled and it will enable stakeholders to hold meetings within and outside Kenya without moving.

“We know that travelling and time is money. A very powerful ICT equipment that has been installed in this hub will enable us to have meetings and trainings with our partners outside the country. We will have a lot of training for capacity building in the sector,” he added.

Dig Deep Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ben Skelton said the organisation believes that every human being should have clean water, safe sanitation, and good hygiene.

“In 2022, we launched the Bomet WASH Masterplan together with the county government which sets out a roadmap for achieving universal access to clean water, safe sanitation, and good hygiene for every single resident of Bomet County,” he said.

The master plan sets out strategic WASH interventions in four phases running from 2022 to 2050 for $398 million (Ksh.47 billion) with the first one being from 2023-2027.

Skelton said while creating the plan, his organisation discovered the key barriers to achieving the WASH aim were a lack of coordination between the county departments and NGOs, a lack of data, and the need for more training for WASH partners across the county.

“I am so excited today because H.E the governor has launched a WASH Hub that will be a one-stop shop for providing better coordination between partners, sharing data and providing vital training to WASH partners’ and stakeholders who are working hard to ensure that Bomet residents achieve good water and sanitation.

“This Hub is for everyone in the WASH sector to come together to speed up the rate at which we achieve that aim of reaching every person in this county with those vital services,” he added.
Dig Deep WASH System Lead Joe Hook said the centre enhances resource mobilization to the county and builds capacity among partners and the county staff.

“This hub will enable people to speak across Kenya and internationally. This means we can bring in people with expertise to train our professionals, technical staff, and decision-makers.

“It will also enable us to bring in funding, and resources so that we can build capacity across partners, county government staff, and across departments. It is about doing these things together by building relationships, common purpose and shared mission,” Hook said.

Dig Deep (Africa) Project Officer Nicky Ronoh said the organisation’s conducts Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) program where 190 villages in Bomet County have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

“Together with the county government, we are also in the process of declaring 80 other villages ODF. We also do post-ODF interventions where we ensure that the villages do not relapse. We do this by promoting sanitation options that the community can easily use,” Ronoh stated.

The organisation has also rehabilitated 12 springs across the county that ensure constant clean water flow for the communities living around them.

“Under our spring water protection programme, we secure the source to ensure that water is not contaminated, provide water reserve tanks and fence the area to ensure the environment is protected.

“The purpose of the protection is to ensure the water is clean for the community and accessible to everyone including children, the elderly and people with disability. We also take water for testing in accredited labs to ensure it is good for drinking and for other household use before commissioning,” Dig Deep (Africa) Programmes Manager Joan Chemutai said.

The organization in Partnership with Sotik NG-CDF has been carrying out WASH in schools where providing alternative modern easily usable toilet seats constructing pit latrines for both boys and girls and hygiene education in schools.

“The toilets for girls have bathrooms and a sanitary towel disposal chamber. The bathrooms are used by girls to wash themselves during menstrual period. This programme has increased school attendance by girls who used to miss classes due to stigma associated with periods,” Chemutai added.

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