Hakijamii held a two day session to deliberate on health, water and sanitation challenges facing communities in the mining areas of Nguluku, Bwiti and Bumamani. The meeting was attended by among others Kwale Water and Sewerage Company officials, county officials from the health sector and non governmental organizations. For some, this was a first chance to have a one on one conversation with duty bearers. The issues affecting realization of basic services were discussed intensely with clear outlines for solutions.
During the discussions pertinent concerns were raised including;
- Walking for long distances to the nearest public health facility
- Traveling long distances to the nearest public health centre
- Lack of basic drugs and commodities in public health facilities
- Mistreatment and negligence by hospital employees especially by nurses
- Challenges in accessing medical services through NHIF cars
Access to water that is safe, sufficient, adequate, affordable and of good quality is a challenge in Kwale. Water quality has been in the past compromised as a result of the high water table that easily mixes with human fecal and the untreated affluent from the mining company. Most of the households rely on onsite sanitation facilities which are pit latrines shallowly dug because of the water table.
In the deliberations, it emerged that for the County Government to prioritize water and sanitation, it must be included in the county plans especially the CIDP plan.
The engagement was critical on bringing duty bearers closer to rights holders for conversation on service delivery as well as establishing a platform for continuous engagement.