EQUAL ACCESS TO WATER
A group of young activists from Kenya gather decision-makers and ensure fair distribution of clean water
Back in August 2015 ActionAid Kenya, Global Platform Mt. Kenya and a network of committed young people in Nanyuki formed the Mt. Kenya Youth Hub. This youth-driven hub has given young people in Laikipia County a much needed place to meet, discuss and coordinate political initiatives and activities. A campaign training supported by the Global Platform enabled young people from the Youth Hub to identify a series of local political issues and decide to launch a campaign on equal access to water.
Like large parts of eastern Kenya, Laikipia County suffers from long periods of draught and water shortage. Young people from the Mt. Kenya Youth Hub have succeeded in generating attention to the right to water and contributed to concrete changes in access to and the distribution of water resources benefitting inhabitants at risk. At the same time, young people in the area are increasingly recognised by local decision-makers as opinion formers and actors in political decision-making processes.
In October 2016 young people from the Mt. Kenya Youth Hub conducted a series of research activities in villages in eastern Laikipia on access to and the distribution of water. They concluded that the distribution of water rations and pricing were irregular and had negative consequences for the inhabitants of several villages in the area.
The young people followed up on the activities via the successful online campaign #forgottenmajority and a three-day workshop attended by inhabitants, lawyers and government representatives, among others. As part of the campaign they presented the local government with a series of concrete proposals for a fairer distribution policy.
- So far the young people’s efforts to secure equal access to water has resulted in the implementation by the local government of several of their proposals.
- The local government has standardised the price of drinking water sold in kiosks.
- Previously the villages were not informed of the basis for the given distribution of water. The campaign has led to a greater level of information to ensure transparency.