MAJI SALAMA ACTIVITIES 2019 – 2020
Maji Salama continues to work through its Kenyan NGO partner, Maji Zima, to implement projects in Kenya. 2019 started well and by July gravity fed water filters had been installed and were operating in one community, a school and a clinic, all in Kajiado County. This was in addition to existing filters at Ongata Rongai and Kitingele, near Nairobi.
The pilot scheme strategy to identify participant communities continued unchanged as for the previous year - to negotiate with community leaders, then follow up with community meetings to aid planning and execution of each project in selected locations. The key factors were, and continue to be:
The communities must have existing sources of water, believed to be biologically contaminated, and have no immediate sustainable treatment.
The communities acknowledge the water problem and welcome support to improve the situation.
Geographical locations of these communities should make physical monitoring of the projects by Maji Zima staff easy. This would allow quick response/adjustments to any pressing need from the beneficiaries.
Socio-economic status of the communities: focus on economically challenged populations residing in rural, peri-urban and urban informal human settlements.
The communities had shown initiative in improving community resources and had committed members equipped with the skills to maintain the project.
Our partner in Kenya had hoped to expand the programme and was in discussion with schools, four of which wished to proceed with the project. There were also discussions with other NGOs and charities about potential partnerships. However from March this year, although negotiations continued, the programme of installation stopped. This was due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in lockdown, with closure of schools and only essential services operating. One primary school was in the final stages of preparation for a filter to be installed but the installation had not been completed. This meant that during lockdown only the Beacon of Hope Clinic still used the filters, but for a reduced population.
Until the time of lockdown the filters had worked well and there were no cases of water borne disease reported. Up to March the figures showed:
At the community project 1,108 m3 of safe drinking water was supplied to more than 200 individuals each day..
The Clinic had supplied 440 m3 of filtered water for drinking and cooking at the facility and the neighbouring community.
Because of a difficulty with its electricity supplier the school was without power to pump water into its storage tank and therefore could not use the filter. So the last output figures were in September 2019, when the filter had supplied 42 m3 of safe drinking water to the 1400 pupils and their 27 teachers.
Despite the problems and the inability to proceed with new project development, Maji Zima continued to monitor the operations of the two pilot project sites at Diguna and Beacon of Hope Clinic each month. The projects have run smoothly without any problems reported by the staff maintaining them. All the filters were performing efficiently in their second year of use and there were no reports of water borne disease.