Kenya Water Relief
LAST UPDATED: Feb 24, 2017
In recent years, Kenya has found itself in an increasingly precarious economic and public health position. The country is in the midst of a population boom, increasing its size by more than a third from 1999 to 2009. However, with a largely arid landscape with relatively few locations that are truly suitable for agriculture, the country is struggling to provide food for the ever-increasing population which has grown to 47 million as of 2017 from 38 million in 2009. Currently, more than forty percent of Kenyans use unimproved sources of water (such as rivers, ponds, and shallow wells) to satisfy their needs. At the same time, almost sixty percent of the populace are forced to use unimproved sanitation facilities, such as public toilets, bucket latrines, and open defecation. In the city of Nakuru, the majority of functioning “toilets” are actually shared pit latrines.
The combination of the above factors have created conditions that have dealt a heavy blow to societal development. Kenya was already classified by Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) as one of the most unequal countries in the world, and its lack of sanitary water only exacerbates its current situation. The population boom has led to overcrowded and unsanitary settlements in urban areas like Nairobi. Children who live in these overcrowded areas are twice as likely to die before reaching the age of five as children who reside in other parts of the city.
This high childhood mortality rate is a direct result of the deadly pathogens that typically accompany poor water access and sanitation. Parasitic worms and outbreaks of cholera have become all too common in Kenya, putting increased strain on the nation’s health systems. In addition to unclean sources of water, the types of containers used to transport water are also inherently tainted. Normally, such containers are fashioned out of repurposed objects that had previously been used to carry fertilizer, oil, or even waste.
All this being said, it remains important to acknowledge the concerted efforts that the Kenyan government and people have made to turn the situation around. Until some recent political mishaps, Kenya had been on target to achieve its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of 90 percent water access. In 2002, Kenya made significant progress with the legislative passage of the Water Act, which decentralized what had previously been the country’s cumbersome Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) services. Afterwards, a significant push was made to establish water service providers (WSP) that functioned as publicly owned companies operated by local authorities. Other WSP have been formed out of community based organizations that continue to maintain ownership or control over their old facilities.
Facts and Figures: Clean Water Issues in Kenya
- 58% of Kenyans (83% in urban areas and 50% in rural areas) had access to at least basic drinking water sources in 2015
- 22% of Kenyans (45% in urban areas and 14% in rural areas) are reported as having access to piped water through a house or yard connection
- The total number of people lacking access to “at least basic” water in 2015 was 19 million people
- In the capital Nairobi access 35% have access to clean drinking water, as opposed to 46% reported for 2005–2006.
Water For The Global Community in Kenya
Water For The Global Community is dedicated to helping the people in Kenya. We currently have 1 unit operating in the country and are in the process of getting more units in place in 2018
Clean water is the lifeblood of society, and societies without clean water cannot function successfully. Hurricanes and earthquakes have taken a toll on the people in Haiti in recent years. In order to help in the recovery process, Water For The Global Community is committed to supplying multiple water filtration systems throughout Haiti's most needed areas.