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The general Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic (MFEA SR) and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on 13th December 2018 (MoU valid until 2030). The first joint project entitled “Water Security in Turkana, Kenya” is being implemented in Turkana region in the sector of water management.
Turkana region (approx. 1 million inhabitants) is located in northwestern Kenya. Turkana is the largest and one of the least developed regions in Kenya. It is characterised by hot and arid climate with low and erratic rainfall, which causes acute shortage of water supply in the area. The target group is indigenous people of Turkana, mostly pastoralists who are facing negative impacts of climate change.
The aim of the project was to ensure sustainable access to adequate, clean and safe water, to improve livelihoods and food security, as well as to promote sanitation and personal hygiene of the target group. The project consisted of two main components:
1. Installation and maintenance of water boreholes, hand pumps as well as solar and generator-driven pumping systems, and
2. Capacity building of local communities and technical staff in the field of safe, sustainable and reliable water supply.
A Water team of local experts responsible for restoration and maintenance of existing water systems had been set up within the scope of the project. Other project activities include public awareness campaigns on water and sanitation, food security and environmental protection. Local communities were also being trained in good agricultural and water harvesting practices.
Furthermore, new potential water harvesting sites had been identified in cooperation with the local communities. Special emphasis was put on local women and girls who are customarily responsible for replenishing household water supply. More than 50% of project participants were women.