Western Kenya Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

Funding Agency:
US Agency for International Development

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is issuing this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to seek participants to co-create, co-design, co-invest, and collaborate on research and development1 (R&D) interventions to address the need for sustainable water and sanitation services in Western Kenya. USAID invites organizations and companies to submit an Expression of Interest, as provided in Section VIII below. USAID and stakeholders, through the co-creation process, will strive to design an activity that will (1) build a robust sanitation and hygiene market to enable the adoption of higher quality latrines and county-wide access to hygiene products; and (2) ensure county-wide sustainable drinking water services to households, including effective management of water resources.

Despite on-going economic progress, Kenya continues to face challenges in providing sustainable access to water and sanitation services, with only 61 percent of Kenyans having access to a basic drinking water service, and only 30 percent having access to basic sanitation (WHO/UNICEF JMP 2017). Adding to this challenge, the poor operations and maintenance systems, and insufficient behavior change create challenges to the sustainability of services. This lack of progress is largely due to weak governance and institutional capacity, inadequate sector financing, insufficient adoption of key sanitation and hygiene behaviors, and poor management of natural resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised additional challenges in the WASH sector, as payment for water and sanitation services has declined in the face of economic shocks and public funds are stretched thin.

Sector reform efforts have resulted in significant changes in the institutional arrangements and responsibilities for water and sanitation service provision in Kenya. The 2016 Water Act aligns the water sector with the Constitution’s primary objective of devolution, recognizing that water related functions are a shared responsibility between the national government and the county government. The Water Act gives county governments the mandate for water and sanitation service provision and the development of county water works. Water service and water resource regulation remains the responsibility of the national government, as does the management of national public water works. These changes offer opportunity for new spaces for public participation and accountability, but challenges in operationalizing these reforms remain.

A facilitative approach is critical to ensuring the delivery of sustainable services. This requires developing new approaches to empowering and building the capacity across government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders. This activity will develop county-wide approaches that address the systems-level barriers and incentives to tackle two persistent challenges in Western Kenya.

Despite reductions in population practicing open defecation, access to basic sanitation services has not improved over the past 15 years3. In 2011, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation (MOPHS) initiated the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Rural Kenya Campaign, adopting Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) as its core strategy. While this approach, which centers on triggering community collective action to stop open defecation, has shown success in reducing open defecation in many places, it has not led to wide adoption of improved sanitation facilities. At the same time, girls and women frequently lack the water, toilets, and disposal mechanisms to manage their menstruation at school, at home, at work, and in other public institutions.

The second part of the challenge is in ensuring county-wide sustainable drinking water services to households, including effective management of water resources at the catchment level. While access to basic water services has been increasing, existing rural water services suffer from poor financial and technical sustainability. Recent evidence shows that rates of nonfunctionality for rural water services are often around 40%. Poorly managed water resources and climate variability impact many water supply sources in terms of both quantity and quality.

Deadline for Expression of Interest: Dec. 9, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

USAID is looking to engage a wide-range of potential Offerors in this BAA process – including additional donors, resource partners, and funded partners. These different roles may be filled by any organization that brings something of value to bear on the process, including public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations, as well as institutions of higher education, public international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, multilateral, and international donor organizations. All organizations must be determined to be responsive to this BAA and sufficiently responsible to perform or participate in the final award type.

Funding Type

Grant

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Environmental & Life Sciences
International Opportunities
Medical
Medical - Clinical Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

December 9, 2020