Beth brought clean water to 40 Kenyan families
$778 paid for:
water purification filters for 40 families in the Kajiado district, and one community education session about the importance of clean water.
While studying in a rural area of Kenya, I noticed that access to clean water was impossible for many women in Kenyan communities. I learned that in Kenya 56% of the population do not have access to clean water, and that 80% of all diagnosed diseases are waterborne. I found that while filters were available, they were far too expensive for most people in Kenya to afford. Saddened by seeing people drinking muddy and unclean water, I developed a filter which costs less than a third of others available to make.
The campaign for clean drinking water has become my second nature. It all started with a school project. I was a fourth-year university student taking community development at Chuka University and I couldn’t afford to buy the water filter I needed for my project. Necessity led me to create one. When it worked, I made another for a children’s home near the university that I visited regularly, and I now supply filters to as many communities without access to clean water as I can.
My team and I would now like to distribute our water filters in Kajiado, one of the districts in the Rift Valley province in Kenya which is home to a number of Maasai pastoralists. The district receives very low rainfall, experiences severe droughts and poverty, has seasonal rivers which frequently dry up and, as such, has an acute shortage of clean water.
On top of this, both people and animals share a common water source. This means that the limited water the community does have gets easily contaminated by livestock hooves, faecal matter and fur. To make matters worse, the community doesn’t have an adequate way of disposing their own faecal matter. They usually do it indiscriminately in the bushes. This poses a problem during surface runoffs because the seasonal river beds where the community draw their water from get contaminated.
The frequent droughts and lack of adequate sewerage system forces the Kajiado community to rely on water from highly contaminated sources such as dry river beds, silanga (water pans), unprotected open wells, and boreholes, which the community has to walk several kilometres in search of. Health centres are not easily accessible to the community due to their geographical distances, poor road infrastructure and lack of transport.
Knowing the serious health issues the Kajiado community faces, I can’t sit back and let them go without clean water any longer!