Innovative project brings clean drinking water to local Kenya community
DuPont Water Solutions and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Little Sisters of St. Francis (LSOSF), have commissioned the installation of an energy-efficient, high-recovery FILMTEC™ Reverse Osmosis filtration system for the removal of fluoride in drinking water sources at St. Francis Community Hospital and learning institutions. As a result, over 6000 students, patients, and community members now have access to clean drinking water.
Today, over half of the groundwater sources in Kenya, especially in the Rift Valley region, contain fluoride concentrations above recommended levels. It is estimated that 20 million Kenyans suffer from teeth and bone fluorosis as a result. In Kenya, sustainable access to safe drinking water is around 60 per cent in cities and towns – dropping to as low as 20 per cent in the informal settlements where half of the urban population lives. In urban areas, a large population depends on boreholes water that often contains high fluoride levels.
Responding to this local need for residential clean drinking water, DuPont Water Solutions and USAID partnered with LSOSF to support this innovative water project. Building on existing work, DuPont Water Solutions donated the technology and technical expertise to the project. USAID helped design the project and provided direct infrastructure investments including pipeline expansion, an efficient pumping system and construction of water kiosks to increase water access to the neighbouring community.
“This was a challenge that could not be easily addressed by USAID or KIWASH alone,” said Joe Sanders, USAID/KIWASH Chief of Party. “In collaboration with Water Solutions and LSOSF, we were able to meet the immediate needs of the hospital and help improve the quality of life for the broader community who face similar water quality and accessibility issues.”
The project has become a reference point for other communities and organisations in the region – in fact, LSOSF regularly hosts visitors interested in learning about the innovative clean water programme. “Water is life. Thanks to the partnership initiated by Water Solutions and USAID, our long-awaited need for safe, adequate drinking water has been met,” said Sister Irimina Nungari. “One day soon, we hope to package our water and distribute it far beyond Kasarani so we can serve as many people as possible.”