Our Vision and Programs

About Us

Umande trust is a right based agency, which believes that modest resources can significantly improve access to water and sanitation services if financial resources are strategically invested in support of community led strategies, designs and budgets.
`Umande’ is the Kiswahili term for dew - connoting a new, unbiased, nascent beginning; not recycling the ideas of yesteryears.

Location of the Projects: Nairobi (Kibera, Korogocho, Mukuru, Mathare and Kangemi), Nakuru (Kaptembwa and Kwa Rhonda), Kisumu (Obunga, Nyalenda, Bandani, Manyatta, Kibuye), Homabay and Embu-dallas (Kenya)

Vision, Mission, Core Principles, and Core Values 

Our Vision
A society in which communities have, as a human right, access to adequate and affordable urban services

Our Mission
To promote innovations that position bio-sanitation and other related services as key drivers of sustainable urban development

Our Core Principles
We seek:

  • To put People-first: women, men and youth are the foundations on which demand and real participation is built
  • To be Resourceful: using resources innovatively and creatively and recognizing that the motivation, energies and talents of communities are the greatest resource to the attainment of our mission and objectives
  • To promote Gender equity: by fostering and harnessing the respective potential and qualities of women and men and males so as to improve their access to bio-sanitation and other related services
  • To be a Catalyst: being an agent of change whose role is to support internal potential and self-initiated action rather than prescribing solutions from outside
  • To achieve Sustainable Impacts: modest resources can bring about lasting water and sanitation results if funds are invested in support of community-led programmes
  • To learn Lessons: from, and by sharing, our experiences, successes and shortcomings.

Our Thematic Areas

  • Inclusive water governance
  • Community managed watsan financing
  • Eco friendly water and sanitation technologies
  • Knowledge and information assets
  • Vision led organizational development

Our Programmes

  • Community led technology, design and development
  • Basic urban services financing
  • An approach to a human rights based approach: the right to water
  • Integrated urban environmental planning
  • Promoting associations, governance, equity and justice
  • Peace and reconciliation
  • Under the same sky
  • Community led total sanitation in urban areas

Community led technology, design and development
Umande Trust learns from innovations and approaches which have successfully worked in other urban settings. As part of this learning process, we have adopted Total Sanitation and Hygiene Access and Community Led Total sanitation (CLTS) approach targeting the urban peoples’ settlements.
Bio-sanitation facilities have been adopted in close partnership with community groups, public sector agencies, local government and peer civil society organizations-

Basic urban services financing
SANDEF- Sanitation Development Fund a self-sustaining fund which loans out, rather than grants, the funds needed to undertake a water and sanitation project.
Consists of different loan products to individuals and groups
The product allows communities that have benefited with Bio-centers to contribute 10% of the net income into the kitty.
SANDEF exists to make urban water and sanitation development both more sustainable and accessible through community based loans for sanitation related income generating activities.

The right to water: water choices
This is upgrading of the water delivery system in the informal settlements, through a mechanism that is designed to offer a range of service levels and prices in accessing safe, clean, affordable water.

The project aims to develop a ‘demand driven’ approach to water supply, creating a ‘service ladder’ to give customers a choice in the way they access water, with a corresponding difference in price (where possible) for different service levels, ranging from standard collect-and-carry to variations in household delivery.
Further innovations such as volumetric purchasing and household storage

Through this service, the clients can access water at any time of the day from 6am to 9pm

Integrated urban environmental planning
Focus on 60m radius within the bio centres, and looks into seven components:

  • Sanitation
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Water services
  • Utilization of biogas; solar energy
  • Urban agro forestry/ greening of neighborhoods
  • Access to information on Planning
  • Economic and Social Rights

Promoting associations, governance, equity and justice
Within the context of informality, urban communities are actively contributing to the growth, security, prosperity and vibrancy of cities. Individually and collectively, they are adapting innovative ways of coping and achieving via table banking, housing cooperatives, environmental action groups, community radio stations and local advocacy networks.

Under the Same Sky-Kenya
Started in February 2010 in the Kibera Slums, Kenya, Under the Same Sky is a project that addresses local environment and climate change problems. It has two parts (A-Schools in Kibera, and B-the Schools Exchange Programme) with different target groups, but with a shared focus on environment, poverty, and education issues.

The Peace Project
The project provides neutral dialogue meetings and carries out voter seminars, educational theatre, sport and music festivals. These activities will be conducted by local CBOs coordinated by a project management committee comprised of young representatives from different villages and ethnic groups in Kibera. In order to raise awareness on the General Election and prepare young people to participate in the electoral process, the project organizes voter education by local youth trainers.


  • 64 bio-sanitation facilities and 15 water points constructed in Kenya
  • Integrated Urban environmental plans done around 5 Bio sanitation facilities
  • Water choices projects implemented in 5 areas which has enhanced water delivery at the household level
  • Capacity development of the groups in the planning, management and operation of the completed facilities
  • Puxin bags (4 bio gas packages) distributed and operating in Kisumu and Nairobi         Three commercial bio gas connections from the Bio Centres
  • Approximately 600 people utilize the bio gas from the existing facilities per day
  • Signed Commitment charter with aspiring Nairobi County Council political aspirants in 2012
  • Developed a memorandum of understanding with the Nairobi County Council Assembly-Delegated Legislation Committee.
  • Built capacities of Bio Centre communities on good hygiene practices
  • Training of 286 participants on devolution, leadership and advocacy
  • Budget and planning process on the ward level
  • Training of the  county assembly on the  committee of delegated legislation committee
  • Recruitment of magnet groups to address issues on social accountability
  • Implemented 3 Payment innovations; Beba Pay, a cashless system and Kopokopo that reduces the use of cash handling and promotes accountability
  • Established a community-based shareholding scheme and business development plans in close consultation with the participating youth group
  • Profit centres within the Bio Centres that generates revenues and employment opportunities
  • A  sanitation financing scheme has been created
  • A green schools project in schools, at Karima Girls, Mother of Mercy, Machakos Girls amongst others
  • Partnerships and linkages enhanced between different stakeholders


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