Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Maji na Ufansi - Kenyan NGO

Edward Kairu recieving an award on behalf of the organisation

Maji na Ufanisi has many years’ experience of working in partnership with local people, donor and government agencies and the private sector to bring innovative water and environmental sanitation solutions to the neediest and most vulnerable groups in Nairobi slums, small towns and rural areas of Kenya.

The Maji Approach

Maji uses water and environmental sanitation as vehicles to rally communities to address wider socio-economic issues related to poverty. Experience has shown that effective community mobilisation can lead to genuine democracy; representative, fair leadership and responsible, collective management of community assets. This approach is based on the knowledge that ultimately, real development is in people and their ability to take increasing control over the resources and decisions that directly affect their lives.


Executive Director, Prof Edward Kairu, leads a team of highly competent engineers, environmentalists, technicians, administrators, artisans, social scientists, community and youth organisers who are all proud to be able to assist local, disadvantaged communities become more confident, self-reliant and dignified.


“Our unique approach goes way beyond simply providing the basic physical necessities required. We look at the bigger picture - we focus on the people in these communities, giving them the skills and knowledge they need to change their lives for the better.” says Edward Kairu


Maji Na Ufanisi is also a learning institution.  Research organisations document their work and best practices in the belief that knowledge-based research must feed into policy and advocacy.


Many inhabitants of Kibera, a Nairobi slum with a population of around one million people, still use “flying toilets” -plastic bags for defecation thrown into ditches or on to the roadside which may burst upon landing or clog the drainage system. Open sewers meander through the slum, giving off a choking stench. Unsanitary conditions often lead to waterborne epidemics. When it rains, the drains full of human waste overflow into the houses where children play with the filth; some even swim in it.


Maji have facilitated the installation of a fourth sanitation block which includes water kiosks, separate toilets and bathrooms for men and women. This has reduced the use of flying toilets, clogging in the drainage system and outbreaks of cholera and diarrhoea.

Maji na Ufanisi receives UN Habitat Award

On World Habitat Day 2007, Maji was presented with a National Human Settlement Award from the Minister of Housing in recognition of their contribution to increasing the accessibility of water and provision of sanitary facilities in slum areas.  Edward Kairu received the award on behalf of the organisation.


Picture caption: Edward Kairu recieved the award on behalf of the organisation.


Contact details:

Maji na Ufanisi

Theta Lane, Off Lenana Road, Hurlingham

P.O. Box 58684 - 00200

Nairobi, Kenya

Email: [email protected]




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