Project Partners: Catholic Relief Service
Location Turkana and Isiolo counties, Kenya
Kenya’s Isiolo and Turkana counties have long suffered from limited access to clean and reliable water sources, making the area a breeding ground for waterborne diseases like typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery. With 80% of illnesses in developing countries caused by poor water quality and sanitation, Kenya has been no exception, and the country’s poorest and most vulnerable residents have borne the brunt of these illnesses, with many dying from lack of medical care and treatment.
To address this issue, Catholic Relief Services and 4Life Solutions have joined forces to launch the SaWa pilot project through the Kenya Rapid Program. The initiative will see the distribution of upto 100,000 bags until 2022 in the two counties, providing safe drinking water to households that have long struggled with limited access to clean water.
Each SaWa bag can provide two people with safe drinking water for an entire year, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases and the need for costly medical treatment. Furthermore, the project will help to reduce deforestation in the area by providing households with an alternative to using firewood for boiling unsafe water, with one SaWa bag saving two trees per year.
The pilot project has already received strong support from the local communities, with 96% of the target population expressing confidence in the efficacy of the SaWa bags. This has resulted in a high adoption and usage of the bags across the two counties, indicating that households have incorporated the SaWa bags into their water treatment options as a sustainable and cost-effective solution.
Plans are already underway to upscale the project and distribute 100,000 SaWa bags, which will significantly impact the health and well-being of the communities in Isiolo and Turkana counties. With the successful implementation of the SaWa project, residents will have greater access to safe drinking water, resulting in fewer sick days, reduced medical costs, and a healthier population. Furthermore, the project will help reduce the area’s dependency on fossil fuels and deforestation, making it a sustainable solution for years.