The Journey to Realizing the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in Usoma, Kenya
Updated: Feb 13
Access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, but achieving this goal remains a challenge for many communities around the world, particularly in rural areas and urban poor populations.
The proposed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) post-MDG goals call for targeted measures to address these inequalities, and Usoma, a small community in Western Kenya, provides a compelling example of how this can be done.
In a new paper, researchers explore Usoma's journey towards realizing the human right to water and sanitation. The community faced numerous challenges, including limited access to water and sanitation services, low government funding, and the pressure for increasingly privatized services that prioritize efficiency and financial sustainability over equitable access.
To address these challenges, the community adopted "pro-poor" policies that prioritize the needs of low-income residents and marginalized communities. They also developed innovative financing models that made it possible to invest in critical infrastructure and services, such as boreholes, latrines, and rainwater harvesting systems.
Through stakeholder engagement at all levels of government, they were able to build a coalition of support for their efforts and advocate for policy changes that reflect the human right to water and sanitation.
As a result of these efforts, Usoma has made significant progress towards achieving universal access to clean water and sanitation services. The community has seen improvements in public health, economic development, and overall quality of life. Their journey highlights the critical role of innovation, collaboration, and commitment to social justice in achieving the human right to water and sanitation for all.
If you're interested in learning more about the journey of Usoma and the critical role of innovative solutions and pro-poor policies in realizing the human right to water and sanitation, you can read the full paper.