The Ministry of Environment, water and natural resources (MEWNR) carried out a water point mapping survey in partnership with SNV-Netherlands and TWAWEZA  and gladly recently made this data available on the open data portal. The dataset covered eight (8) counties and contained over 8000 data points and intended to provide information on the post construction sustainability of rural water supplies as very little data exists on the status, nature and characteristics in type and management of rural water supplies. We found this dataset particularly well suited to make a number of great visualizations focusing on the type of water source points, their functionality status as well as visualizing the distribution of safe and unsafe water points to name a few interesting variables.

A borehole supplies livestock with water close to the Wajir , Mandera county border crossing.
Hand Pump at Shallow well in Wajir County


One example the chart of water resource types vs the ownership status of water source points in Kiambu County.


This bar chart illustrates the distribution of water source types (boreholes, springs or wells), which have been color coded according to their ownership status (Private is teal , Community // CBO is rose, Institutional is blue) and in addition it also notes the percentage of water sources that are improved or unimproved within Kiambu county. Notably the county has a high number of bore holes which represent about 68% of water sources in the county with almost half of these being community owned bore holes at 46%. Probably linked to its proximity to Nairobi and population the has been significant investment in the water resource by individuals and the greater community and majority of these are functional and well maintained with only 17% of all the Water points unusable or needing repair.



The survey also cleverly geocoded the data meaning that each water point could be mapped to the county. As illustrated bellow some of the trends shown in the chart can be spatially visualized in interactive maps that focus on one specific variable at a time. For example Map A looks at the distribution of different types of water source points, while Map B changes the symbols to focus on the Functional status of the water source points.

Map A





The analytical potential for research or citizen engagement into issues around access quality water is wide and can be used to explain a number of things including correlations between water born disease occurrences and where citizens access fresh drinking water we hope citizens can use this data to validate and quantify their requests for improved water accessibility in their counties.

Water point Mapping in Kenya

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