Africa Initiative for Rural Development (AiRD) is pleased to announce a new partnership project with Procter and Gamble, through the P&G Children Safe Drinking Water program. The project that is to be implemented in Kitui and Makueni counties seeks to provide 13 million liters of safe clean drinking water to children in 50 schools in the two counties and will run for a period of two years.

What is CSDW?

P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) is a signature global program within P&G’s philanthropic health and hygiene efforts. Founded in 2004, the program has provided clean water in more than 75 countries and helped to raise awareness of the clean water crisis through a diverse network of 150 partners.

The two target counties are both ASAL and access to water leave alone clean is a challenge. Major sources of water in the region include earth dams, boreholes and seasonal. Only about 29% of households in Makueni County have access to adequate water in dry seasons and 41% in wet seasons, with a similar situation experienced in the neighboring Kitui County. Many of the sources that provide water are unsafe and only 18% to 22% of the population have access to safe water in the dry and wet seasons respectively. Distance travel to water sources range from 5 to 10km

Lack of Access

Due to lack of access water and sanitation, diarrhea is second to pneumonia in deaths in children under five years of age (excluding neonatal). Water, sanitation and hygiene related illnesses and conditions are the number one cause of hospitalization in children under age five. Besides deaths; other effects due to of lack access to clean water include: it stops kids from going to school and mothers from starting businesses and taking care of their families to go fetch water. For those already struggling to make ends meet, scarce and contaminated water puts a massive wall between them and progress. On the positives, enhanced access to safe clean water, improvements to sanitation and hygiene are known to increase school attendance, especially for girls, and help children better learn. They also have a major effect on female empowerment and the economies of many countries – both rich and poor – with developing nations such as Kenya benefiting greatly

The Technology

The partnership project aims to contribute to long term health improvements among the majority of households in Makueni and Kitui Counties through promoting consumption of P&G Packets treated water. The P&G water purification technology in a powder, is an amazing innovation that quickly turns 10 liters of dirty, potentially deadly water into clean and drinkable water. The water purification packet contains a powdered mixture that removes pathogenic microorganisms and suspended matter, making previously contaminated water clean.

AiRD will achieve the set goal in this project through engaging will all relevant stakeholders in delivery. Already meetings have been held with the national and county governments (in both counties) and actual implementation in schools and community is set to begin in this month (March 2016). We can only look forward to a healthy population in the target area.