Kenya Visit 2014
Project name: Maji Salama/Maji Zima Partnership – Aquafilter Pilot Scheme
Project location: Mbita, Homabay County, Kenya Report by: Lenin Ligoo, Nairobi
Maji Zima is a not for profit company registered and working in Kenya with Maji Salama, a U.K. based charity that distributes Aquafilters free to needy communities without access to clean water. Maji Salama aims to:
Develop the capacity and skills of members of economically disadvantaged communities in Kenya by providing employment opportunities connected with the development, assembly, distribution and maintenance of water filters producing drinkable water from contaminated sources.
Promote good health and prevent sickness through the development and distribution of the water filters to poor communities that do not have access to clean water and improve knowledge about water borne diseases and health amongst poor communities in Africa and other parts of the world by training people in those communities in the use of Aquafilters.
Maji Salama’s representative in Kenya, Mr. David Moufarrige, and 2 local volunteers: Mr. Arnold Okore, of Homabay, and Mr. Lenin Ligoo, from Nairobi, made a trip to Mbita on April 30, 2014 for 2 days. The visit was aimed at educating members of the local community about clean and safe water and in the use of Aquafilters donated by Maji Salama.
Project activities and results:
Meeting with 15 community representatives :
On May 1, 2014, the Maji Zima team arrived in Mbita and met with community representatives to provide them with information about the Aquafilters and to discuss the local community needs. They conducted indoor training for the 15 people, who were from Kasgunga in Mbita. Kasgunga community is a few metres from the shores of Lake Victoria, where people are prone to waterborne diseases as a result of using contaminated water from the lake.
The training not only involved use of both the Family and Community Aquafilters, but they were also taken through the process of care and maintenance of the filters. This was a very interactive session, with many questions concerning the new technology employed in manufacturing the filters and its safety for human beings.
Their concerns were properly addressed by David Moufarrige and a native of Mbita, Mr. Benson, Chairman of the Viagenco Clinic. At the close of the training the 15 community members were able to use the Aquafilters, were eager to own one and were committed to taking good care of it.
Distribution of 48 Family Aquafilters and 6 Community A quafilters
On May 2, 2014 the Maji Zima team rolled out the distribution of 48 Family Aquafilters and 6 Community Aquafilters to the local community. Prior to the distribution stage, 60 community members, who were to benefit from the project, were trained on how to use and maintain the filters.
Unfortunately, as there were only 48 family filters available, some of the group missed out. However, the remaining beneficiaries were promised a filter in 2 months’ time when David Moufarrige returns to Mbita.
Successes and challenges:
48 community members benefited from Maji Salama Family Aquafilters.
6 Community Aquafilters were distributed to the large population of school-going children and beach management units.
60 community members were trained on producing clean and safe drinking water using Aquafilters and on how to maintain them.
Limited number of Aquafilters means there is difficulty in meeting the community’s needs. -Development of an effective strategy to prevent loses of Aquafilters by the beneficiaries.
Sharing of the limited number of Family Aquafilters by the beneficiaries who received them. It is proposed that they be made available to other community members in an attempt to serve a larger population. This would mean a number of families sharing one filter.
Prepare a monitoring and evaluation tool
Increase the number of donated Aquafilters
Seek media publicity to boost the project
Further engage local county authorities and area leaders in the project
The Maji Zima visit to Mbita will remain in the minds of many community members who strongly welcome the project and appreciate the work of Maji Salama. Although the project is still in its pilot phase, it is likely to be attractive to many local communities in Kenya. This was seen when the team detoured to Bondo district in a remote village of Wagusu and Banga beach. At Banga beach the team saw the way the local community used the local water supply - community members residing at the beach, some 50 metres from the lake shore, were seen washing themselves and their clothes; washing dishes, and brushing their teeth at the lake where women and children draw water for domestic use.
Prepared by Lenin Ligoo,
Nairobi, Kenya Email: Phone: +254724791699