Updated: Jan 9
I am delighted to report that thanks to our supporters we are on track to help just over 40,000 people in Kipsonoi Ward in Bomet County end open defecation in their communities. This means that these communities are far better protected against disease; which will save lives, improve education, empower women and girls, and kick-start economic growth. What’s more, this work has also resulted in Bomet County Government officially adopting this approach and committing to the target of reaching all 1,000,000 people in the county by 2036(!) with clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Impact of your support so far
Dig Deep’s mission remains to work together with the Kenyan government, local businesses, and communities, to transform the provision of clean water, sanitation, and good hygiene in Bomet County - one of the least resourced areas in the country.
One of our top priorities in achieving this is ending the practice of open defecation in the county. This happens because people simply do not have a toilet or place to wash their hands in their own homes.
To achieve this, since 2020 our team has been developing and rolling out our Community Led Total Sanitation programme (which is admittedly a bit of a mouthful, so is normally referred to as CLTS). CLTS is an approach that focuses on igniting a change in sanitation behaviour through community participation (if you would like to learn more about how this works, see our previous blog).
This approach has been far more successful than we ever dared hope. The critical measure of success for CLTS is how many villages are declared Open Defecation Free (ODF for short) which means every household has a toilet and place to wash their hands. Getting this ODF declaration for a village is a really rigorous process that involves three separate inspections from the county government, national government, and independent evaluators. Thanks to our team and local partners, the number of villages declared ODF in Bomet County has increased dramatically:
Prior to 2020 zero villages in Bomet were declared ODF
In 2020 our team rolled out a pilot project which resulted in the first 6 villages in Bomet county ever to be declared ODF
In 2021 our team scaled up our work through training and supporting our county government partners. This resulted in 101 villages being declared ODF.
What has been made possible in 2022
This brings us to the work that was made possible in 2022 because of your support. We’ve achieved 3 key milestones in reaching every household with a toilet and place to wash their hands:
We have rolled out CLTS to 40 new villages which are all on track to be declared ODF by the end of the year. This seeks to further deepen our impact by integrating menstrual health sensitisation into the project to ensure that menstruation isn't a barrier to anyone in the community.
We have piloted a follow-up ‘Post-ODF’ programme of the 101 villages we worked with last year which is designed to make it easier for community members to maintain and upgrade their existing toilets (to find out more about this see our previous blog)
We have supported our partners in Bomet County Government to officially adopt this programme and commit to the target of reaching all 1,000,000 people in the county by 2036. This is all set out by the Bomet County Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Road Map’ which our team launched with the County’s governor in July (to find out more read this summary of the launch event in The Daily Nation, one of Kenya's four national newspapers).
Your support has been critical to making all of this possible.
Your opportunity to make your donations go further
Whilst there has been incredible progress over the past two years, the cost of living crisis means that for many, in both Kenya and the UK, including us, the coming months remain a worrying time. More than ever we are reminded that the fundamental right to clean water, safe toilets, and good hygiene is still denied to children and families around the world; and that we need to find ways to make your support go as far as possible.
There is still a long way to go before we reach all 1,000,000 residents of Bomet, and we need to keep the momentum going, that's why, we are delighted to announce that Dig Deep was selected to take part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge in December 2022 and with thanks to our Supporters we were able to raise £41,182!
How you can support us
If you would like to find out more about the impact of your support, please do just get in touch.
Written by Ben Skelton, Chief Executive