Ensuring Access to Clean Drinking Water March 21, 2018 by Krista Park Berry
By Patrick Kelly, Communications Intern
Despite water being the most abundant resource on the planet, it is estimated 1.8 billion people drink from unsafe or insufficient water sources. The number reflects almost all the residents of Kibera who drink from insufficient or tainted water sources. Subsequently, the United Nation’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is to ensure all people have access to clean drinking water by 2030.
March 22nd is World Water Day – a day to raise awareness and take action on the most important resource we have. This year, we are bringing to light 5 reasons why we must strive for universal and equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all.
1. Water is difficult to access. Few residents of Kibera have piped water in their home. They have to walk fair distances to collect water at community taps (often these do not work) or have to find a truck that brings water in.
2. Finding water is time consuming. It’s an arduous process to find water, fill it in heavy jerry cans, and walk it back to one’s residence. This can impact the ability for residents in Kibera to search for work, and often times a chore for older children.
3. Water is expensive. Water is often the biggest household expense for Kibera’s over 200,000 residents. Most earn less than $1.25 (113 Kenyan shillings) a day and spend up to one third of this on water.
4. Water is dirty. The water that is collected in Kibera is often contaminated. Residents must purify their water before using it. There are many methods of water purification but the most common is to use nontoxic chemical based solutions that are given out free of charge or at a low cost by NGOs.
5. Poor water systems = poor health. (especially for pregnancy mothers and young children) Without proper water management, water-borne infectious diseases spread more easily. In the developed world water is used to dispose of human waste but that is not in the case in Kibera. Because they lack piped water and sewage services, most residents use communal toilets or defecate in a bag and throw it (known as flying toilets). The toilets commonly overflow, leading leads to massive hygiene problems and contributes to the spread of disease.
We are committed to alleviate the effects of poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems to improve health and decrease the spread of disease. Our community wellness initiative including household trainings on water management and how to properly use water purifying systems. We also work to integrate WASH trainings with youth in our sports, education, and Binti Pamoja programs to help raise awareness of contaminated water sources and proper alternatives.
On World Water Day, help ensure clean and ready access to water for all residents in Kibera. Donate today!