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In July 2011, when the worst drought in over 60 years hit East Africa, One donated over £1 million to fund emergency water provision in refugee camps in Turkana, Wajir and Dadaab. Since then, we’ve continued to support these regions, as well as providing new solar pumps and boreholes and repairing faulty water pumps in urban settlements in Nairobi.

£1.8 million invested to date


Turkana County, Kenya


Wajir, Kenya


Dadaab, Garissa, Kenya


Nairobi, Kenya

Over 424,100 lives changed

Project details

A three-hour flight from the capital, Nairobi, Turkana is Kenya’s largest and poorest district. The 850,000 residents of northwestern Kenya’s vast and parched Turkana region face some of the most inhospitable living conditions on Earth.

Almost 95% of its population live below the poverty line and have among the lowest levels of accessible clean water and sanitation and over 80% of people have to survive on almost half the recommended minimum 15 litres of water per day. Most people walk long distances to reach the wells, where they drink contaminated water; resulting in frequent diarrhoea and cholera outbreaks. Where more permanent water points exist; they may be unreliable, have fallen into disrepair or the water is rationed and unaffordable (particularly where it is pumped by diesel generators).

  • Construction and rehabilitation of 22 new and non-functioning water points including solar pumps.
  • Training of 18 community water management groups (ten people in each) and community hygiene promoters – helping to reduce water-related diseases and improve community health through the widespread adoption of new toilets and better hygiene practices. At least ten communities will become ‘open defecation free’ and households will enjoy more privacy and dignity.
  • Training in water point maintenance supported by a network of local suppliers and hygiene promotion activities involving children, ensuring knowledge of safe practices stay with the communities.
  • Improved advocacy skills to help communities to be better equipped to lobby for increased support.
  • Supporting local authorities to replicate the model in other regions with training to develop and implement more efficient water policies.

Urban water programme

Kenya has witnessed rapid urbanisation due to population growth and rural-urban migration (due to conflict, drought, rural poverty), leaving cities overcrowded and with huge unmet demand for critical infrastructure and basic services. In Nairobi alone, 60% of the population (1.4 million people) live in informal settlements where the majority of people have no access or limited access to basic services.

We are supporting the development of much needed infrastructure in seven informal settlements, including network extensions and metered water connections, improving water supplies at a household and plot level through public standpipes and water kiosks. Working with key stakeholders from service providers to locals from low-income communities, the programme continues to reduce water loss and improve water resource management across the settlements.