Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Accessibility to safe drinking water and quality sanitation services is fundamental for any community that aspires to progress against disease, hunger, and poverty. Availability and management of water resources significantly influence health, food security and nutrition, gender fairness and balance, and inclusive access to education. Though significant milestones have been achieved by the exploration of mind-changing interventions and the scaleup of water distribution across diverse regions in Eastern and Central Africa, significant efforts are still needed to increase access to clean water and proper sanitation services.


Access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene is a basic human right and is identified as a key Sustainable Development Goal by the United Nations as SDG 6. However, Eastern and Central African states are yet to set the correct course that aligns with the set targets for SDG 6 by the year 2030. Over 150 million people in Eastern and Central Africa lack access to basic water services. Another 300 million have poor access to basic sanitation services. It is the only region in the world where the number of people lacking access to adequate WASH services has increased within the past two decades. The situation is more dire in rural settings than in urban regions. In Kenya, for instance, 40% of the population lacks access to clean and safe drinking water, while another 70% can’t access basic sanitation.

FOPCO Africa is working with local community leaders and partner organizations to offer alternative support at communal levels by establishing intermediate solutions to increase the ease of access to clean water and hygienic living conditions. Through our interventions, we strategically access WASH products to enhance healthy and resilient livelihoods for the most vulnerable groups in urban informal and low-income rural settlements.

O Equitable Access to Water

Water is the single most important resource in any community. Globally, thousands of lives are lost daily as a result of poor access to clean water for drinking, washing hands, and cooking. Over two million children die yearly from diarrhea and other water-related diseases as a result of inaccessibility to clean water. Two in three deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Women and children are disproportionately affected in regards to WASH challenges. To effectively mitigate these challenges, we take action to enhance equitable access to clean water in the community for diverse functions. We achieve these by considering different approaches

We tap to collect rainwater

This initiative is driven towards providing clean, fresh drinking water for children and members of the community. We target schools and public utilities such as government offices, hospitals, police stations, and community development centers. Harvesting rainwater can be extremely resourceful for communities during dry spells. To ensure durability and scalable use, we construct central water storage tanks of between 100,000 and 150,000 liters. These tanks are then connected to a network of gutters that collect water from the roofs of buildings. These storage units can also be replenished with mobile water supply support when the reserves are diminished during the dry seasons.

We sink boreholes in regions that lack access to clean, piped water

We work with local community stakeholders to identify impoverished communities that have no access to clean water for domestic use. Through public participation, we leverage the local expertise and resources to identify the best places to sink boreholes that can serve the community at large and for extended periods. We drill two types of boreholes, depending on localities.

The shallow boreholes are ideal for areas with high water tables and controlled sanitation. These boreholes are sunk to depths up to 250 feet. They serve as freshwater sources, ideal for household use and drinking when boiled. Usually, these are installed with hand pumps and entrusted to the community through established local leadership.

Deep boreholes are ideal for highly populated regions with high water demand. We sink these boreholes in public learning institutions and urban informal settlements to provide clean, safe water for sanitary and domestic use. Deep wells have to be installed with solar-powered water pumps to ensure sustainability. We train local community leaders and caretakers of these water wells on the effective use, management, and maintenance of these resources. We provide them with all the necessary tools and information for better use of the deep boreholes.

We help rural people build farm dams

Farm dams are fundamental structures for rural communities that majorly rely on rainfall to produce food. In Eastern and Central Africa, this equates to over 95% of the farming population. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to significantly rely on traditional rainfall patterns to produce significantly. Climate change has disrupted the normal farming calendar, with farmers witnessing more and more erratic and unpredictable rainfall patterns. As a result, yield losses due to extended dry spells within the cropping circle is more common than ever. We help farming homesteads sink farm dams of between 350,00 to 3,000,000 cubic meters, sufficient to support up to five farming families.

O Equitable access to Sanitation Services

We strive to support local communities create dignified sanitary and hygienic living conditions for the urban and rural poor. We package our services as integrated behavioral change and facility support services. We focus on building the capacity of communities to support better sanitation and provide the necessary facilities to help sustain communal ownership of such projects. To achieve these, we focus our efforts in;

Training local community members on sanitation

Our training program focuses on working with local community leaders to identify factors that underlie causes leading to inadequacy in the availability of sanitary services. The aim is to come up with solutions that accelerate positive behavior change toward better use of quality sanitation services in the target communities. We co-designed our solutions with local community representatives and state actors from municipal services. Through design thinking, we find solutions to the root causes of non-availability or ineffective use of available sanitation services. Once a challenge has been identified, we come up with effective working solutions that are easily adaptable to the local context. Training materials are iteratively co-developed with the local leaders and representatives from municipal and public health services. To ensure co-ownership and adaptability, we train the local community leaders to train members of the community in local group setups.

Constructing community-owned Latrines and Toilets

Community-owned latrines are vital in eliminating public defecation and the potential spread of diarrhea-related diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery, etc. This initiative targets empowering local communities to take the lead in constructing high-quality pit latrines for collective communal use. The project helps community members navigate against identified priority challenges that limit their capacity to set up and utilize quality sanitation facilities. Among our areas of focus, we co-operate with community members to co-design structures, conduct geospatial properties for facility siting, and selection of construction materials for the pit latrines. To ensure accountability and ownership of the project, community members have to raise at least 30% of the total cost of construction of the pit latrines.

Facilitating the availability of cleaning detergents

One of the leading causes of cholera and related diseases is poor hygiene and lack of detergents to wash hands, utensils, and other vital utilities. To address this, we help communities manufacture all-use detergents using locally available resources. This project works with youths and women in the target project areas to develop their entrepreneurial skills in the manufacture and sale of detergents for household and general use. The project is accompanied by training on best practices for personal and communal hygiene.