The Kenya Forum | Complete Sanitation: Kenya To Wait Five Generations - The Kenya Forum

February 3, 2015


Kenya to wait five generations for complete sanitation according to a report, Adapting Development, Improving Services to the Poor, by the British think-tank the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

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Complete Sanitation: Kenya To Wait Five Generations

It will take decades, if not longer, for the world’s poor to have access to adequate quality basic services such as health, education and water going by the current development trends, a new report has revealed.

According to the report, Adapting Development, Improving Services to the Poor, by the British think-tank the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) although 2015 will see renewed global commitments to sustainable development, there is lack of any real discussion about the methods needed to implement any new framework and there is much to be done and if this challenge is to be met.

The gap in access to quality services between the richest and the poorest is still very wide in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa and has been projected to remain so. In Ghana for instance, the gap between the rich and the poor is 76 years. The poorest people will therefore only have access to a health professional during childbirth 76 years after the richest people.


The report indicates that only three countries in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to achieve improved sanitation for all by 2030, with the vast majority of countries taking until 2100 or beyond.

For Kenya in particular, the report says that it will still take almost five generations to achieve complete sanitation coverage, or nearly 150 years.


On matters education, the report estimates that only 10 of the 33 sub-Saharan African countries, whose data the report has access to, will have all children completing primary school by 2020, on current projections. For almost 30% of them, this basic benchmark will not be met in rural areas for more than a generation.

The poorest rural girls will take 65 years longer to complete primary school than the richest urban boys.

The report advocates for a different radical approach from the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) MDG which appeals for extra funding, broad calls for ‘good governance’ or ‘inclusive institutions’.

“there must be more explicit recognition of the political conditions that enable or obstruct development progress.  Domestic reformers and their international partners must pursue innovative and politically smart ways to tackle the most intractable problems,” the report reads in part.

Among the recommendations in the report is;

  • Major changes in how aid works and in the way aid is treated in public policy debates.
  • Working in problem-driven and politically informed ways.
  • Being adaptive and entrepreneurial.
  • Supporting change that reflects local realities and is locally led.

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