The right to water and sanitation has been articulated under Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya, thus it is an obligation of the state to take steps including legislative, policy and standard-setting towards the achievement of these rights. Moreover, the state and its organs have a fundamental duty to observe, respect, protect and promote these rights, therefore significant steps including sufficient allocation of resources, formulation, and implementation of progressive policies are indispensable.
Advocating for the realization of these rights remains a substantial agenda for Hakijamii. Building on the gains made over the years, the institution actively participates in a number of processes aimed at improving the state of accessing water and sanitation, especially for marginalized communities in low-income urban areas.
On the Water Programme Hakijamii has made the following strides:
- Policy advocacy on the Water Act 2016
- Close collaboration with the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) to re-organize the structure of Water Action Groups (WAGs) in Nairobi, Garissa and Mombasa to align their functions with the provisions of the Water Act 2016.
- Actively engaged in revamping public water projects in Mukuru informal settlement by working with the Water Monitoring Team and the Water Action Groups in the community to follow up on the ongoing and stalled water and sanitation projects.
Partnerships with Water and Sanitation organizations
Hakijamii is sustaining its efforts in collaboration with KEWASNET to promote accountability in WASH through strategic training and engagement of CSO and communities on social accountability. Strengthening the capacities of CSOs and communities leads to effective resource utilization to address WASH challenges especially in urban informal settlements.
Hakijamii is a member of Water and Sanitation for All (SWA); a global partnership committed to achieving universal access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation for all. The organization is also a co-convener and a member of the Directors Forum under the Kenya SDG Forum reporting on goal 6 that tackles water and sanitation targets. Hakijamii continues to be a strong voice and to actively and meaningfully contribute in the networks’ efforts in monitoring the progressive realization of the right to water and sanitation in Kenya and across the world.
Access to quality and affordable healthcare is a fundamental human right. Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya provides that every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care. Governance for health has remained the most daunting component of healthcare delivery in Kenya. The devolution of health services to counties envisioned a robust healthcare system that would comprehensively respond to the needs of the people. Although some progress has been recorded, significant gaps have been documented including poor services, unequipped facilities, and lack of drugs, inadequate physical accessibility, affordability and quality among others.
With the health sector in Kenya experiencing a myriad of challenges, Hakijamii’s focus has been on:
- Building social capital to ensure accountability and prioritization of community generated healthcare issues in county budget and plans.
- Mobilization and organizing of community groups and community health volunteers to meaningfully influence decision making at the county level in Mombasa and Kakamega Counties.
- Mombasa County Health Advocacy Network and Kakamega County Health Reference Group have emanated from efforts by Hakijamii to consolidate and harmonize the efforts of non-state actors in the health sector.
- Training Civil Society Organization on Policy Advocacy and Analysis of Health related laws in Kenya
- Research on different health aspects including impact of procurement on the right to health
- Surveys and Score card reports on the functionality of level 2 and 3 hospitals at the county level. In collaboration with the People’s Health Movement (PHM) undertook a nationwide survey on perceptions of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya.
- Strengthening the already existing health rights advocacy platforms at the county level to grow them into sustainable social movements with active citizens demanding for accountability and good governance specifically in the health sector.
Consequently, accountability has taken on a high degree of importance because health care now constitutes a major budgetary expenditure in all counties with Kakamega spending 23% of its budget on health and Mombasa spending 21%, therefore proper accounting for the use of these funds is a high priority for Hakijamii.
Partnerships with other organizations in the Health Sector
We are working with like-minded actors to engage in sustained advocacy against corruption and inefficiencies especially at the county level hospitals. As an innovative way to address this challenge, we are currently releasing bi-annual score cards on the perception of corruption in the health sector in Mombasa and Kakamega County. We have also conducted extensive research on Nationwide Perception on UHC in Kenya through PHM, as well as the Impact of Government Procurement Procedures on Provision of Health Services in Kakamega County, among other research papers. Currently, we have concluded an assessment of the factors that hinder enjoyment of health as a public good in urban informal settlements, and we anticipate that the study’s findings and recommendations will inform policy, legislative and administrative reforms towards realization of health as a right.
Figure 1: Mombasa County Health Advocacy Network Discussing the Mombasa Healthcare Scorecard Findings