SWASH + (Phase II)

Over 65% of Kenyans in Nairobi live in informal settlements with inadequate sanitation. Residents in these settlements, particularly children, are disproportionately at risk for sanitation-related diseases compared to the rural population. Safely managing sanitation in informal urban settlements is difficult, especially in schools, where facilities must be sex-segregated, hygienic, durable, and used by a large number of students. The narrow and muddy roads in these settlements create additional challenges for collection and transport of waste. Despite substantial capital costs, school sanitation facilities are prone to disrepair and are often not well maintained.

Led by CARE but explicitly including the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as a full partner and strategic driver, SWASH+ Phase II builds on school WASH learning of the first SWASH+ phase. The overall goal of the program is to improve the sustainability and effectiveness of school water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at scale in order to support the Government of Kenya’s Comprehensive School Health Policy, which is to enhance the quality of health in the school community and improve achievement in education performance by creating a healthy and child friendly environment for teaching, learning and psychosocial development through appropriate collaboration of stakeholders.

During the first years of SWASH+ Phase II we conducted three main studies: 1) the life cycle costs of WASH in rural schools in Kenya, 2) the governance trial looking at how to increase sustainability in rural schools through involving teachers, parents and students and utilizing non-financial incentives and 3) the urban private sector trial which looked specifically at the initial costs and benefits of private sector sanitation in urban schools compared to “traditional” sanitation options.

In the next two years, we will expand the above studies by 1) conducing a life cycle costs of urban sanitation in 3 to 4 Kenyan counties – including the comparison of a private sector sanitation model compared with traditional sanitation costs in schools and 2) extending the urban private sector trial by 30 months to allow more insights on the sustainability of private sector sanitation (since it will be observed for more time) compared to traditional sanitation facilities, and the benefits and drawbacks for users over time.

The complete findings from the SWASH+ Phase II project will be used to develop national guidelines, approved by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Kenya, which outline how schools can procure, monitor and maintain private sector sanitation.

See additional material: 



Study Location

Urban informal settlements of Nariobi, Kenya


Target Population

Primary schools and school children



Matthew Freeman (Principal)



CARE International, Sanergy, Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Georgetown University



Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Project Staff

Jedidiah Snyder, Anna Chard



Safe Water and AIDS Project: Alex Mwaki



Charles Boera, Dorothy Adhiambo