, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – The Safaricom Foundation in partnership with a community self help group in Nyeri County is rallying households in Ngonde, Githiriti and Thirigitu villages in Kieni East to partner and ensure steady supply of clean water as the World Water Day is marked globally.
Over the years, the Foundation together with Ngogithi Water Project – founded since 1983 – has undertaken a number of projects to construct and maintain water infrastructure.
Key among these projects are the contraction of water tanks and piping of water to villages which has seen the Safaricom Foundation donate over Sh8.1 million.
Members of the Ngogithi Water Project contribute a Sh300 fee every month used in maintaining a 16 kilometre water pipeline as well as fund other water projects identified by the community ranging from contraction of dams to acquisition of irrigation equipment.
The community also provides support to projects through provision of labour by helping in trenching, laying of pipes and backfilling.
Such initiatives have been upscaled as the World Water Day is marked globally.
According to a survey Twaweza East Africa titled Half empty of half full? Water, sanitation and hygiene in Kenya, only 62 per cent of rural Kenyans compared to 78 percent of their counterparts in urban areas.
Compared to previous years, there has been a decline in clean water in urban areas over the years as data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicated that 90 per cent of water in urban areas came from improved water sources in 1990.
In rural parts of Kenya, access to quality water has however increased from 35 percent in 1990 to the current 62 per cent.
One in every four Kenyans in urban areas spend at least an hour fetching water with one in every ten of the rural folks spending a similar amount of time trying to get the vital commodity.
With the cultural dynamics coming into play, the burden of collecting water lies squally on women in 92 per cent of households countrywide.
Overall, 68 percent of the1,741 respondents sampled said they have access to an improved water sources.
The poll also revealed that only 30 per cent of the rural population had access to piped water compared to 53 per cent in urban areas.
Globally according to the United Nations, 1.8 billion people are at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio as a result of drinking contaminated water with the use of unsafe water and poor sanitation said to be contributing to up to 842,000 deaths annually.
This year’s World Water Day focuses on the treatment of waste water with the goal to reduce wastage currently estimated at 80 per cent of unclean water.
Water is the Sixth goal under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aims at halving the amount of waste water through recycling and reusing by the year 2030.