Garissa County, Kenya – The Garissa County Government and Maji Na Ufanisi have announced a collaboration aimed at enhancing water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in the region. 

This partnership, facilitated through a Privately Initiated Investment Proposal (PIIP), seeks to leverage the expertise of Maji Na Ufanisi, a leading organization in the WASH sector, and the resources and support of the County Government of Garissa. 

The initiative aims to improve WASH conditions in public spaces, such as markets, bus parks, slaughterhouses, and select public schools.

Also read: Maji na Ufanisi and Mandera County Join Forces to Improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

The Department of Health, Garissa, is responsible for providing quality healthcare services as outlined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, 4th Schedule. 

In its pursuit of delivering efficient healthcare, the department often collaborates with external organizations for support. Maji Na Ufanisi, which has previously partnered with the County Government of Mombasa, has successfully implemented a water sanitation and hygiene business enterprise model (WASHEM). This model brings together local communities, including umbrella community-based organizations, NGOs, youth groups, and schools, with private sector expertise in corporate governance.

Also read: What is the Maji na Ufanisi WASH Entrepreneurial Model, and How has it Been Implemented in Kenya?

The County Government of Garissa recognizes the potential of this collaboration to fulfill its mandate of delivering improved WASH services, creating better opportunities for its citizens, expanding its revenue base, reallocating resources from WASH to other sectors, and achieving its County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) targets.

To initiate the partnership, the County Government of Garissa has expressed its willingness to facilitate the collaboration and improve WASH conditions across the county. The focus will be on enhancing WASH infrastructure in public spaces that are crucial for the community’s well-being.

In light of the potential synergies and benefits that can be harnessed through this collaboration, the County Government has invited Maji Na Ufanisi to conduct a rapid assessment of the WASH situation in Garissa County. 

This assessment will serve as the foundation for conceptualizing ideas and engaging all relevant County Government departments in adopting a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach.

Also read: Maji na Ufanisi and Wajir County Sign MOU for Joint Venture to Improve WASH Conditions

The County Government of Garissa has invited Maji Na Ufanisi to visit the county and commence the needs assessment and situation analysis. This will involve identifying potential sites for constructing or rehabilitating sanitation facilities. 

The outcome of the assessment will guide the subsequent stages of the collaboration, where the parties will explore various modes of engagement.

By joining forces, the Garissa County Government and Maji Na Ufanisi aim to address the pressing challenges in water, sanitation, and hygiene, ultimately improving the living conditions and quality of life for the residents of Garissa County. 

This partnership highlights the commitment of both entities toward sustainable development and the well-being of the community they serve.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

While the collaboration between the Garissa County Government and Maji Na Ufanisi holds great promise, several challenges and opportunities lie ahead. 

One of the primary challenges is the need to address the current state of WASH facilities in public spaces within the county. Markets, bus parks, slaughterhouses, and some public schools often lack adequate sanitation facilities, posing a threat to public health and hygiene. 

Also read: Game-Changing MOU between Maji na Ufanisi and Homa Bay County Promises Brighter Future for Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Access

This collaboration presents an opportunity to improve these essential services and ensure a safe and healthy environment for all.

Another challenge is the allocation of resources. The County Government of Garissa will need to carefully reallocate funds from the WASH sector to support other priority areas without compromising the progress made in improving water, sanitation, and hygiene services. 

This realignment of resources should be done strategically to maximize the impact and achieve the desired targets outlined in the County Integrated Development Plan.

Furthermore, effective coordination among various government departments and stakeholders will be crucial. The collaboration between the County Government and Maji Na Ufanisi necessitates close cooperation with departments responsible for public infrastructure, education, and environmental health, among others. 

By fostering a multi-sectoral approach, the partners can harness the collective expertise and resources required to address the complex challenges in the WASH sector.

In addition to the challenges, there are significant opportunities associated with this collaboration. The involvement of Maji Na Ufanisi, with its extensive experience and successful track record in implementing WASH initiatives, brings valuable expertise to the table. 

The organization’s knowledge in corporate governance, community engagement, and sustainable WASH models can greatly contribute to the success of the partnership.

Moreover, the collaboration presents an opportunity for capacity building and knowledge sharing. 

The County Government of Garissa can benefit from Maji Na Ufanisi’s technical expertise, gaining insights into innovative approaches, best practices, and successful interventions implemented in other regions. This knowledge exchange can empower the county’s officials and professionals to make informed decisions and effectively manage WASH projects in the long run.

Also read: Access to Clean Water and Sanitation Gets a Boost in Nairobi through Maji Na Ufanisi and NCWSC Partnership

The collaboration also holds the potential to stimulate economic growth and improve the revenue base of Garissa County. Access to clean water and improved sanitation facilities is not only crucial for public health but also essential for economic development. 

By enhancing WASH services, the county can attract investment, promote tourism, and create a favorable business environment, ultimately contributing to the overall prosperity of the region.

As the Garissa County Government and Maji Na Ufanisi embark on this collaborative journey, they are poised to address the pressing WASH challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and transform the lives of the county’s residents. 

By working together, they can achieve their shared vision of a healthier, more sustainable, and prosperous Garissa County.

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