In any project implementation it is important from the onset to engage the local community to understand their interests, beliefs, social networks etc. For any organization to implement a project well it requires to put its ears on the ground to listen to stakeholders and thus gather enough knowledge about local context and the local communities they intent to work with.
As they say the earlier you engage stakeholders, the more likely you are to realize key benefits, this has been a very busy month in Kenya as CO2balance carried out local stakeholder meetings in the Western and Central regions of the country. This comes ahead of the planned water projects in the regions targeting to rehabilitate the many non-functional water boreholes denying locals access to safe water. The local stakeholder’s meetings played a key role in educating our CO2balance staff about the local context in which the proposed water projects will take place. They also provided an avenue to raise issues and concerns, ask questions, and potentially helped in shaping the projects.
The stakeholder meetings helped provide very important insurance for the long-term effectiveness of the proposed projects as they earned the local communities buy-in which is very important. In the meetings we agreed with stakeholders on how to provide ongoing and meaningful opportunities for communication and input allows stakeholders have their issues heard, and contribute to the decision-making process.
It is estimated that around 884 million people globally lack access to safe water supplies; which, according to UNICEF, is approximately one in eight people. While Kenya continues to make progress in water sector development, there are still issues of safe water access, functionality, and equity across the country. With this in mind CO2balance has proposed to identify and repair non-functional water boreholes in Western and Central regions in Kenya. The western region covers the following counties: Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay and Vihiga while the central region covers Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Embu, Laikipia and Nyeri Counties.
Within the above-mentioned counties several organizations have sunk water boreholes that have over time due to various reasons stalled thus denying locals access to safe water. This has compelled most of the local communities to trek long distances going to rivers, lakes or open wells where they fetch water then boil to make it safe for human consumption. The proposed rehabilitation of the non-functional water boreholes will restore these water points to functional status and enable the local communities’ access safe water with ease.