We are pleased to share with you Paul Mwariri’s abridged story of the recent SkyHydrant SAFE WATER kiosk installation in Migori Country, West Kenya in March 2019. The installation was the 14th kiosk carried out as part of the Safe Water Enterprise project. Paul works with the Siemens Stiftung, based in Kenya. Thank you, Paul, for sharing your experiences and stories with us and our friends!
Here is his brief field report;
Wath Onger is a busy trading centre in the region, Migori District of Kenya. The River Kuja is the main source for drinking water in the area. Like many similar towns, the water test results from raw water indicated a high bacterial contamination level, including faecal colonies. This was not surprising though considering that the Migori has always been the first region in the country to have cholera outbreaks, especially during the rainy season. The feasibility report carried out in the area prior to deciding to build the kiosk confirmed that the hygiene situation was very dire in Wath Onger and the surrounding villages.
Most of the population is engaged in small scale farming and cattle rearing. Additionally, Wath Onger hosts weekly livestock markets attracting traders from as far as Tanzania. This also impacts water quality
As usual, the standard kiosk construction was a steady 2-day assembly project involving members of the local community and our Safe Water team are there to supervise. After many previous installations, the construction is complete. The MAJI SAFI kiosk consisted of the standard SkyJuice pre-fabricated kiosk design with one SkyHydrant MAX ultrafiltration system. Once the installation was completed on day 2, at about 4 pm, many people came for water and fetched water till when we left at 8.30pm. By the end of the 1st day, 1,900 litres of clean drinking water was dispensed!
This seems to have been just the beginning as by day 9 after construction, the kiosk had already made and dispensed 55,000 litres of clean drinking water to the community and people coming from further inland. Three weeks after the opening of the kiosk, 120,000 litres of clean drinking water have been produced and consumed in the community.
This is by far the most successful Maji Safi Kiosk opening that I have experienced and there is definitely a strong community engagement. If this momentum is maintained, it will become the most successful kiosk ever in the Safe Water Enterprise project in this innovative and exciting 5-year program! Because of this, we are already planning to increase the capacity of water tanks from the current 2,000 litres to 17,000 litres to ease the waiting time at the kiosk.
The group managing the Wath Onger kiosk is the Lake Victoria Aids Support Organization (LAVISO). It is a community-based organization (CBO) that has previously been involved in water and health support projects in the community, especially supporting individuals and families that have been affected by HIV-AIDS. Included also in their activities is training farmers on the production of nutritious foods for the children and those suffering from HIV/AIDS. A great community organisation.
So far LAVISO is doing a solid job in managing the Maji Safi kiosk and has shown a lot of self- drive, leadership and commitment doing what is required without the intervention of Siemens Stiftung local team.