Rains Lift the Burden of Water Collection on Women and Children in Kenya


By Joyce Chimbi
May 12th, 2011

As poverty continues to take a female face, lack of access to water and basic sanitation continues to weigh heavily on women.

This is more evident in those who live in slums and struggle to find the KSh10 needed for five liters of water.

Water is, therefore, a crisis for women and children who continue to bear the burden of collecting it and ensuring that it sustains the day to day needs of the family. This is even more difficult in areas where they have to walk for many kilometers in the search for the life sustaining commodity.

Ugandan women from a shallow well carrying water in plastic jerricans

According to UN reports, across the world but most especially in Africa “girls drop out of school either because they have to help fetch water or because there are no adequate sanitary facilities in schools. Millions of school days are lost as a result.”

In the slums for instance, long water queues are dominated by women and children. This notwithstanding, the concept of gender and water access as well as supply has not permeated the water health and sanitation approach and discourse. They are the women and children who have to trek for hours to collect water in small containers and often are forced to make several trips in order to collect enough for the household chores.

Kenya is experiencing a season of heavy rains which according to the Director of Meteorological Department, Dr Joseph Mukabana, will ease towards the end of May. Some parts of the country that are bread basket regions will continue to experience heavy rains after this period.

However, central Kenyan where a reservoir of national dams are located will experience minimal rains which might affect the overall national supply of rainfall.


  1. I am the editor of PIME World Magazine, the publication of the PIME Missionaries in the US. Our next issue includes an article about water in Cameroon. May we use this photo? Full credit would be given. Thank you!


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