It is often said “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” This illustration is often used when speaking about charity, but it also highlights the importance of education. We can provide tools to others, but if there is a missing education piece, the tools are not used to their full potential. Over the years, our distributors have taken this advice to heart. In addition to providing clean water solutions, they often host sessions to educate on the importance of clean water and how to maintain the various solutions.
Earth and Water is one of the organizations that recently distributed our clean water solutions. With the coronavirus leaving many people in need, Earth and Water stepped in to help. They were able to put together a food distribution and WASH training program for a community in Kasipul, Kenya, near Lake Victoria. Many members of this community make less than one dollar a day, some farming, and others running microbusinesses.
The goal of this program was to equip participants from Central Kasipul Ward with needed knowledge about unsafe versus safe water, personal hygiene, and general sanitation practices. This will help prevent diarrheal disease and add to the overall health and wellbeing of many people.
The success and sustainability of the program was ensured through the hiring of an experienced water hygiene and sanitation expert who facilitated participatory training and careful selected participants. They identified key people, i.e. young household members, community health workers (CHWs), and community leaders (former councilor and chief). This special selection of participants ensured that what was taught about proper hygiene and sanitation practices will continue and the newly learned practices will be sustained into the future.
This project consisted of two phases. The first phase targeted 100 community members from the Central Kaspul Ward and surrounding area. The second phase targeted the 75 orphaned children supported by Still Hope and the 7 volunteers from the community who gave their time to assist with the Food Distribution Project. The total number of individuals who attended the training were divided into daily groups of less than 30 to ensure that the number of attendants did not exceed the limit set by the Kenyan Government because of COVID-19 regulations. Lunch was provided at every course for those attending.
Many Village Water Filters were distributed during the two phases. Besides the filters being given to the participants, the participants were thoroughly trained on properly filter operation and maintenance to ensure correct utilization and longer filter lifespan. As a result of the training, participants were able to identify their unhealthy water hygiene and sanitation behaviors. The training empowered the participants and they voluntarily accepted to take responsibility to transform the bad water and hygiene practices that pollute water sources and the environment. The participants immediately adopted water treatment, safe storage consumption practices through the use of the Village Water Filters.
Not only were our partners able to help so many in the Kasipul community with Village Water Filters, but they were also able to share the importance of clean water through their training sessions. This will enable the community to flourish long past the initial distribution. If you would like to support Earth and Water in their work to bring clean water to those in need, check out their website. They have initiated small business development projects, school and household water filtration systems, well drilling, and various water development projects.