Clean Water Saves Lives
Our clean water scheme has already helped over 100 families have safe drinking water.
In Europe and America, we take for granted the clean water that flows from our taps. However, life is very different in many of the rural communities in Kenya and across Africa. Many do not have access to water and even when they do, it is untreated and can often be a source of illness for villagers.
In Kokoth Kateng, where the Open Hearts and Minds School is located, there is no running water. A reservoir, built about 20 years ago in the community, meant people did not have to walk the 7-mile journey to the shore of Lake Victoria to get water and carry it home. The dam (as it is known locally) collects water during the two rainy seasons which come in March/April and October/November. It provides water to everyone living within a 2-3 mile radius and is the life-blood of the community.
Every day at first light we see the women and children walk to the dam, wade in and gather the first bucket of water for use in their home that day. It’s amazing how they carry a full bucket of water home on their heads! Often they will have to make more trips to the dam to get water for drinking, washing, laundry and their animals. Those who live further away might bring their donkey to carry several buckets of water home, so that they may only need to make one trip per day.
Water seems so much more precious when you have to carry every drop your family needs home from the dam!
The herdsmen in the village also drive their cattle and goats to drink at the dam. The thirsty animals wade straight into the water stirring up the mud and silt at the bottom, often right next to the people who are filling their buckets. The water is typically used without any treatment, which can be a source of illness for the villagers : parasites are common and even deaths from cholera are not unknown in the area.
What Have Open Hearts and Minds Done?
At Open Hearts and Minds we have been very concerned about the safety of drinking water in the community, so we decided to develop a clean water scheme for our children’s families. Over the past 5 years, Open Hearts and Minds have distributed over 50 water filters in the community. The filters produce water that is free from germs and safe to drink. They are simple to use, simple to clean and can be used year after year. As each filter system can treat several buckets of water in a day, up to 3 – 4 families can share a single filter and have safe drinking water.
Would you like to be a part of our clean water scheme too? Buy a water filter so more families can benefit from safe drinking water. Donate today!