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11 April 2024 - News


Fardowsa fetching water for her domestic use from an open water source.

By Peddy Oniang’o

Kenya's arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) faced a cruel twist of fate. The drought that had plagued the region finally eased in early 2023, but the long-awaited rains brought new challenges. With overflowing water sources came contamination, putting thousands at risk of waterborne diseases, especially children. Fardowsa, a mother of seven, knows this struggle well. For years, her family trekked long distances for water, and the risk of illness loomed large. Diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases were a constant threat, stealing the health and well-being of her children.

Hope arrived through a collaborative effort between Save the Children and Procter &Gamble (P&G). Through the project, known as the Children's Safe Drinking Water project, 24,000 water purifiers were distributed to affected households. This intervention targeted households with high turbid water sources and those with malnourished children who are vulnerable to waterborne diseases.


Fardowsa and her child showing P&G’s water purifier.

Abdullahi, a community health promoter, witnessed the transformation firsthand. He explained how the purifiers worked: a simple process using clean containers and a stirring stick to separate dirt and impurities, resulting in clear, drinkable water.


Halima and her daughter get training from Save the Children staff on how to use the water purifiers.

The impact was undeniable. Fardowsa, like countless others, saw a dramatic decrease in childhood illnesses. Save the Children's Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) officer, Wilkins Livoi, highlighted the program's success: reduced disease rates in children under five, improved hygiene practices, and most importantly, access to clean water for children in vital nutrition programs.


Farhia and her child showing the P&G water purifier

This story is a testament to the power of collaboration. By working together, Save the Children, P&G, and local communities turned a potential health crisis into a success story. Clean water, once a distant dream, is now a reality for thousands of families in Kenya's ASAL regions, ensuring a healthier and brighter future for generations to come.