According to the UN, water scarcity affects more than 40% of the world’s population, a figure that is set to rise as temperatures do. Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to ensure clean water and sanitation for everyone.
At Send a Cow we are determined to break down the barriers that stand in the way of defeating poverty in rural Africa – dirty water is one of the largest families face.
By having access to clean water and creating water harvesting techniques, families are less likely to contract diseases and their farms and livestock are able to thrive. But most importantly they can look to a brighter future, free from poverty.
An update from Kakrao, Kenya
Water is a major issue in the Kakrao region of Western Kenya. More than 70% of the population collect water from contaminated sources, exposing them to water-borne diseases.
Send a Cow began a three year project in Kakrao in 2017, it will enable 1,785 vulnerable families to become food and income secure. As well as training families in sustainable farming, key water activities include:
- Capping five springs, enabling 1,400 homes and 2,300 school children to have access to clean water
- Water committees trained to manage springs and advise on how to use them effectively
- Training families in rain water harvesting so they can set up systems on their own homes
What is a capped spring?
‘Capping’ a spring means water is captured at source and diverted to a tap which protects the water from contamination and improves access for the community. This was the first capped spring; you can see the incredible difference in the quality of the water.
Families across Kakrao who were previously drinking dirty, contaminated water now have access to clean and safe water. To know that they can drink clean water has lifted the spirits of communities – they no longer have to take frequent trips to hospital for water-borne diseases, and the high-pressure flow of water has significantly reduced the turnaround time for fetching water.
The difference our programmes make
In 2010 Caren became very ill and was admitted to hospital. After several tests she was diagnosed with HIV. Although HIV medication is free, when taken on an empty stomach it causes severe hunger pains and nausea. The hunger pains were so bad Caren stopped taking her medication.
Caren joined a Send a Cow Self Help group in December 2017. Although the work was tiring at first, within a few months she started to see the fruits of her labour. With her vegetable yields increasing, Caren was able to increase income from selling vegetables at market. In March 2019 Caren received funding to cover the start-up costs of installing guttering on her home which funnels rain water into a water butt.
Caren says: “Life has really changed. I’m doing what I love, I’m busy 24 hours! I eat a balanced diet, and although I am HIV positive, I lead a healthy life – people come to ask me how I manage, and I help others to talk about it. We help each other not to skip medication or clinic visits – the clinic is 1km away, and we can get ARV drugs for free. Everyone is staying healthy, they are eating a balanced diet – the Send a Cow training has made them strong… I am proud that I’m living a dignified life."