Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GWWI Women, Water on Wednesdays: Clean Water to Supplement Food Security in Kitale, Kenya

Jane and Lindah are powerful leaders in Kilili Self Help Project (KSHP), a community based organization in Kitale, Kenya. KSHP works with poor farmers in the Western North Rift of Kenya, teaching them the skills of biointensive farming methods. Implementing grass roots development work, they aim to improve food security, soil fertility and empower communities. View video . Jane and Lindah were sponsored by our friends at the American Jewish World Service, fighting hunger, disease and poverty in the developing world.
Lindah at training with BSF

Jane and Lindah knew that focusing on community health and wellness through Food Security needed to be supplemented by ensuring that families also had access to clean water. Although, their communities had water available, it was not always safe water. At the Global Women’s Water Initiative training in Kampala, Uganda in July 2011, they learned how to build the Biosand Filter (BSF), a simple household water treatment made out of local materials that removes up 90-100% of bacteria, parasites and viruses.

Jane shoveling in Kitale
When they returned home, they tested their communities water using the Portable Microbiology Lab, a simple water testing method that identifies contaminated water. After discovering that many of their local water sources were not safe, they hosted a BSF training with GWWI training partner Connect Africa, inviting volunteers from many of the different villages where they work. Training alongside Connect Africa solidified Jane and Lindah’s knowledge of the BSF as well as added a much needed service to KSHPs roster of sustainable technologies.

Participants of the training making BSF water filters!

Word spread like wildfire when the participants went home and shared the BSF as a solution for their water issues. Soon Jane and Lindah were being asked to train more people. Parents of students at Angel Academy School in Kiminini where the typhoid rate was very high, raised money to host a training and build enough filters for over 500 students! The students even helped!

Girls washing sand for BSF during Training in Kitale

They were also invited to share the BSF technology for the Agricultural Society of Kenya attended by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. 

Ministry of water learning of the project
 In addition, they helped local women start a micro-business through a waste management strategy making solar cookits as well as crocheted bags, mats, hats etc out of plastic bags they learned from GWWI Trainer Faustine Odaba!

Ladies trying on hats and bags made of crocheted plastic bags.
KSHP has trained over 116,000 families in Biointensive Farming! We have no doubt that they will be able to reach out to those families and more with clean water, waste management and micro-business strategies!

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