The Nairobi River Commission Rehabilitation Project and Open Justice Day

Umande is excited to be working with the Nairobi River Commission (NRC) and many other local organisations to restore the rivers of Nairobi: the Mbagathi River, the Galana River, and the Nairobi River. The Nairobi River Commission was established in December of 2022 with the hope of rehabilitating the rivers of Nairobi and with it the blue and green infrastructure of the city and surrounding communities. This spring, the NRC began to engage with civil society organisations, community groups, and other non-state actors about the important role that they will play in helping to clean and rehabilitate the river. Umande hopes to be able to engage community groups that we partner with to get involved in the project, to help ensure that the residents of Kibera and other informal settlements in Nairobi can have a voice in this commission. All solutions that are come up with must put those who are the most disenfranchised first. The NRC hopes to focus on four areas: catchment protection and re

Earth Day 2024: What is Umande Doing to Improve the Environment

Today is Earth Day! Earth Day is a global holiday that educates the world about the importance of protecting the earth and sustainability. This year marks the 54th annual Earth Day, and the 34th year of Earth Day is recognised internationally. At Umande Trust, we work hard to promote sustainability every day not just on Earth Day, but today it is especially important to recognize the importance of sustainability, and that everyone does their part. Here at Umande, our mission is to “promote eco-innovations that place community groups at the driving seat of enterprising solutions”. Through our more than 80 Bio Centres across the nation, basic sanitation services such as toilets and showers are provided to tens of thousands each day, reducing the contamination of water sources, through a reduction of open defecation. Reducing the amount of sewage that contaminates local waterways such as the Nairobi River is critical to improving the environment and improving the ecosystem that lies on th

The Importance of Multistakeholder Participation

                                                  Nairobi faces chronic water and sanitation service deficiencies due to rapid urbanization, population growth, inadequate infrastructure, and mismanagement of water resources. The imbalance between water supply and demand leads to erratic water distribution and frequent rationing, particularly affecting marginalized communities and informal settlements. In these areas, residents often rely on contaminated water sources like polluted rivers or shallow wells, increasing the prevalence of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. The city's sanitation infrastructure is inadequate, leading to impoverished areas' dependency on pit latrines that drain directly into waterways or storm drains. Such improper waste disposal degrades environmental and health standards. The unequal distribution of WASH services exacerbates existing social inequalities, as affluent areas receive more reliable water and sanitation access compared to low

Earth Day Event: Umande Trust X Kidani Youth Venture

  Written By: Sophie Stowe and Alexa Storzinger      This Earth Day, Umande Trust partnered with Kidani Youth Venture to run an all day event focused on engaging youth in informal settlements on the issues of climate change. We ran the event out of the KID YOT biocenter in Kibra, Nairobi and had over 40 kids in attendance. It was a fruitful day full of smiles and learning that we can’t wait to share with you.      A bit more about Kidani Youth Venture (KYV): Joy and Edwin are the founders. They met at a conference a few years ago at a time when Edwin had his heart set on leaving Kibra forever to find better opportunities elsewhere. However, when Joy shared her inspiring philosophy with Edwin, he was convinced to stay. Now they run KYV together, driven and directed by Joy’s vision of making Kibra a place that people want to live and are proud of. This vision for Kibra and understanding of the importance of education and youth, drives the activities run on the regular by KYV. Using the s

Interview with Rose Muthoni: Education, Tree Hill Biocenter, and Climate Awareness

Written By: Sophie Stowe Interview By: Sophie Stowe and Alexa Storzinger                Tree Hill is one of Umande Trust’s Biocenters in Kibra that is currently under construction and is being built next to the Tree Hill school. The Biocenter will allow the students to have improved access to toilets and provide a more supportive, comfortable learning space. Rose Muthoni is the principal and founder of the Tree Hill school. Rose started Tree Hill School due to the demand for early education and daycare in her neighborhood.  “Despite the government-provided public schools, you still had children roaming around not going to school” What started out as a daycare, has now grown to employ a few teachers and support kids from preschool to third grade, the oldest kids in attendance being about ten years old. Miss Rose’s observation of the community’s needs led to not only the creation of the school, but also the creation of the Tree Hill organization, which is made up of teachers, parents, a

Earth Day 2022: Invest in Our Planet

Written By:  Sophie Stowe and Alexa Storzinger Introduction to Earth Day: Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd in order to honor and raise awareness for the environmental movement. Earth Day activities and celebrations are facilitated by the Earth Day Network (EDN). The first Earth Day (ED) was held in the United States in 1970, and ever since Earth Day has been used as a tool for individuals to focus on our planet as well as celebrate milestones in sustainability. The EDN was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. This mission is pursued through education, public policy, and activism in order to hopefully one day achieve those goals Earth Day is also a great way to think and reflect about what is working in society and what is not in regards to our environment, what else can be done, as well as educating people on why environmental activism is important.  Every year

World Water Day 2022 and Conserving Groundwater in Kibra

This year's theme for World Water Day is ‘Groundwater - Making the Invisible Visible.’ It is important to focus on groundwater because though it is often out of sight, it is one of our greatest resources. Populations around the world rely on groundwater for basic needs and to sustain life. According to the Groundwater Project, 2.5 billion people depend on groundwater alone to fulfil their daily Water needs. Every ecosystem around the world which supports life is sustained by groundwater. The major threats to groundwater include agricultural, waste, and industrial pollution, the effects of which make groundwater undrinkable. Climate change is also a threat to groundwater; increased rainfall creates flooding which can cause biocontamination of groundwater, and drought lowers the Water table to an inaccessible point. The conservation of one of our greatest resources should be a priority in order to allow the continued use of Water. Conservation is defined as prevention of wasteful use