Initiative by Making More Health, Boehringer Ingelheim & HELIOZ
HELIOZ is cooperating with Boehringer Ingelheim and Making More Health as well as its long-term local partners GAASP and AMPATH to raise awareness of water and hygiene and to provide safe drinking water to more than 6,000 people in the Bungoma district with the WADI.
According to the latest Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) by WHO and UNICEF, 41 % of Kenyans still lack access to safely managed or basic drinking water services and rely on unimproved water sources, such as ponds, shallow wells, and rivers. 9.4 million (i.e. 19 % of the population) drink directly from contaminated surface water source - the third-largest percentage of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
With the coordination by Making More Health and under the lead of HELIOZ a project rollout to reach the rural communities has been designed and is currently being implemented. Taking COVID-19 restrictions into consideration, the activities of the initiative are carried out in a safe and efficient manner.
“During the past weeks we have been in intensive discussion and analysis with both partners in Kenya to assess the current water and COVID-19 situation and plan the WASH training programme as well as the WADI distribution accordingly.” Barbara Oberfichtner, Programme Manager at HELIOZ
“We are doing a step in the right direction when by using the power of the sun and a robust and durable sensor technology, which is easy to use for the people. This is a prerequisite for the success of the programme.” Mathias Locher, Corporate EHS at Boehringer Ingelheim
During the next weeks WADI distribution to households and community centres will continue. Upon completion of this step as well as the ongoing awareness raising and training sessions on WASH, the partners will assess the effectiveness of the roll out and evaluate next steps.
“Sustainable improvement of the health situation in these poor surroundings requires a variety of activities in parallel such as health and hygiene trainings, but also investments in the improvement of infrastructures and income generation activities - investing in a better drinking water quality is for sure an essential element to make more health happen.” Manuela Pastore, Global lead of the MMH initiative
The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing additional challenges to the country with the highest numbers of infections in East Africa. Especially in the rural areas and the urban slums, like in Bungoma county, preventive hygiene measures and the provision of safe drinking water have become more important than ever. HELIOZ is joining Boehringer Ingelheim and Making More Health and its long-time local partners GAASP and AMPATH to increase awareness on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and to provide safe drinking water with the WADI to more than 6,000 people in Bungoma county.
First training sessions as seen above were carried out successfully and WADI distribution to households has started in July. Relying on simple, yet effective solutions is a key factor of the programme.