Mercy Corps WASH Engineer Jobs NGO Kenya

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Mercy Corps has been operating in Kenya since 2008, focusing its interventions around four objectives: 1) Peace and Conflict Management; 2) Livelihood/Market Systems; 3) Governance (particularly at the county level); and 4) Youth Employment/Employability (including the social and economic development of adolescents). The four objectives serve to increase community resilience to drought and other shocks and stresses, and to decrease fragility with a particular focus on Kenya’s Arid Lands. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.

The Program

Mercy Corps is part of a consortium led by ACDI VOCA that implements a five-year USAID-funded Kenya Feed the Future (FtF) Livestock Market Systems (LMS) Activity for northern Kenya. Under LMS, Mercy Corps fully implements the Strengthening Community Capcities for Resilience and Growth Award. The activity will contribute to USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative and specifically will improve households’ income, productive assets and resilience to drought and other shocks. Specific areas of focus include strengthened and sustained rangeland and water management; strengthened drought risk management; strengthened conflict management; improved and sustained health, nutrition, and hygiene practices; improved literacy, numeracy, and life skills; and collaborative action and learning for community empowerment.

The Position

The WASH Engineer will organize all activities related to the implementation of water programs including irrigation, and infrastructure projects, from design to implementation, including logistics and monitoring. S/he responsible for the identification, design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of all water supply and sanitation program activities and associated administrative tasks on the LMS program. The Water Engineer will supervise all water and sanitation personnel and activities in order to effectively implement planned projects and manage all administration and security of MC engineering activities in the LMS counties. S/he will have to coordinate closely with county teams and ensure that all projects implemented are demand-driven and communities comply with MC and USAID requirements in terms of contribution. The WASH Engineer will also provide leadership and oversight to the project’s WASH and nutrition component. S/he will work closely with our partner ACDI/VOCA, and look for opportunities to link programming and clients with the greater programming across the LMS. S/he will work with the management team to coordinate and plan closely with USAID’s other water initiatives, private partners, county governments relevant departments, ward planning committees, and any other community groups to ensure assistance in well-coordinated, leverages each other’s programming and is not duplicative

Essential Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain good relationships and lines of communication with relevant county government, local administrative authorities and communities, explaining MC’s and USAID role as liaising with them during all phases of the project.
  • Identify suitable locations for the implementation of the water and sanitation engineering project in the LMS counties, through agreed upon survey methodologies and established prioritization criteria.
  • Guarantee community involvement at all phases of the project (identification, design, implementation, and monitoring) to ensure the development of community ownership for the projects. This shall be done in coordination and cooperation with LMS county teams
  • Develop plans for the implementation of the LMS AA2 water and sanitation engineering project in the LMS counties. This include planned delegation of responsibility to appropriate staff, plans and rationale for projects (including technical designs), plans for material and cash needs over the course of the project, and work schedules (timelines) for the various phases of the project.
  • Get initial approval for all plans from County Teams and final approval from management staff before commencement of project implementation.
  • Prior to commencement of project implementation, complete standard Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with community representatives and local authorities for each community identified for project activities. Ensure that all elements of MoU are adhered to. Report any problems relating to the MoU to LMS AA2 management.
  • Implement projects as planned according to developed technical standards, schedules and timelines. This will include site selection based on community agreement (the site should be suitable hydro geologically, physically and socially) and supervision of installations. Ensure correct surface engineering around the well to allow correct drainage of excess water using soak away pits and aprons.
  • Keep detailed technical records for every drill and well site as per the instructions and formats.
  • Promotion of information on basic water hygiene and sanitation issues as well as management and conservation practices.
  • Supervise the procurement of any materials needed through a competitive and transparent bidding process following the MC polices design for this purpose and together with the warehouse manager ensures that they are safely stored until they are use.
  • In the exceptional case of highly technical projects, organize a competitive bidding process to select the most qualified and cost-effective contractor as well as it manages the contract certifying the quality of the works performed.
  • Coordinate with local authorities to obtain all licenses needed.
  • Ensure that there is community contribution during the implementation phase either through labor or in kind financially.
  • Provide feedback to the Monitoring and Evaluation system in order to assess the effectiveness of the projects and impact and propose recommendations for improvements.
  • Provide regular written and verbal reports to LMS management
  • Organizes site-visits to the projects sites and hostess missions/consultants.
  • Promote and adhere to the principles and objectives of the LMS and Mercy Corps.
  • Plan and implement the project’s WASH and nutrition Social and Behavior Change (SBC) including designing compelling informational messages (edutainment), culturally sensitive Information Education Communication (IEC) materials and mass media outreach, as appropriate, to effectively influence behavior change at the individual and community level;
  • Ensure SBC concepts and/or messages achieve project objectives, such as increasing knowledge, changing attitudes, enhancing motivation to change behaviors, and increasing the perceived benefits of new behaviors. Lead in the research design, pretesting, production and distribution of SBC/IEC materials;
  • Pursue other innovative ways to deliver compelling messages such as the use of schools and other culturally sensitive media/channels of communications to reach adolescent girls, women, Youths and Men;
  • Develop and maintain harmonious relationship with partner organizations, line ministries and audience groups. This includes planning activities and coordinating closely with the greater LMS partners and Kenya Rapid;
  • Monitor project implementation, document processes and achievements to ensure best practices are captured and disseminated;
  • Regularly visit field activities to assess progress and provide formal and informal feedback.**
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party and country leadership;
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, sub grantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.
  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members;
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.


  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Deputy Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Chief of Party, County Project Coordinators, NRM officers, GIRL program officers, Livelihood Officers, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, Partner Organizations

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • A BSc or Master’s Degree in Water Systems Engineering, Water Resources Management, Water Treatment Technologies or related field.
  • 5-10 years of management of development programs including water infrastructure rehabilitation projects. Experience with development of WASH infrastructure and systems including architectural drawings, development of BoQs, environmental impact assessments;
  • Previous experience working on USAID grants is preferred;
  • Excellent and persuasive oral and written communication skills, including report writing, in English and Kiswahili is required. Fluency in Northern Kenyan regional dialects also are desirable;
  • Previous working experience in Northern Kenya desirable;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members

Success Factors

The WASH Engineer will have a strong understanding of WASH infrastructure approaches and contextual knowledge of northern Kenya. S/he will combine technical leadership skills, communication skills and capacity to manage relationships with different stakeholders. A heavy emphasis will be placed on coordination with other actors implementing in the areas of intervention. S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Nairobi with regular travel to the project field locations.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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