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Reverse Osmosis here in Mtwapa!

Last time I wrote on here, I briefly mentioned that the groundwater here is saline. It’s not good for drinking, yet most people drink it. Only the wealthy are able to consistently buy bottled mineral water.

As I was walking through town the other day, I saw a sign – ‘Dutch Water Limited’. As is my want whenever I see something with ‘water’ in it, I followed the sign and came to a gated compound with what looked like a factory inside. “Healthy drinking water for everybody” said the sign.

There was a lovely employee sat in the shade by the gate who shared the details with me. Dutch Water Limited are a for profit company, pumping around 25,000 litres of water out of the Mtwapa aquifer every day and purifying it for drinking. The process is long and complicated, but involves the state of the art process of reverse osmosis. Simply put, RV applies pressure to the saline water solution as it moves across a membrane, and enables salt and other impurities to be separated from the water molecules. With my breakfast this morning I have a cup of DWL water by my side and I can tell you it tastes good.

This discovery is in itself not amazing. A for profit company purifying water – this happens all over the world. The great bit is what they do with the water once its clean. I bought 10 litres for $0.64, enough to last our household four or five days, when used only for drinking. That’s cheap! You can buy one litre of mineral water in the shops for the same price. Not only that, but a percentage of the profits they make go to either expanding their facility (they have plans for a larger capacity plant by the sea) or into community projects. They also regularly deliver clean water to slum areas.

Sounds pretty good to me, and a great example of a private company investing in Kenya, providing local employment and contributing to the improved health of the local population.

Check out http://www.dwlwater.com/index_en.html for more details. I love innovative and ‘people centred’ technical approaches to the water crisis!

— Jack, TWP Program Director


Jambo! Habari ya leo?

Jambo! Habari ya leo? I’m Jack Owen, Program Director here at The Water Project. I’ve been learning some KiSwahili this morning – just one of the many things on my ‘to do’ list as I start my year based in Kenya as The Water Projects ‘man on the ground’. I joined up with Peter Chasse and the team about a year ago as a volunteer working with one of our implementing partners here. After 6 months my role changed, I’m no longer a volunteer, and I’m now responsible for all things related to our water, sanitation and hygiene projects – our WASH program.

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Bryson and Andrew’s Read-a-Thon for Water

Bryson and Andrew are working to raise money for myWaterProject!  The boy’s goal is build two wells for a community.

They are planning to read all that he can in the month of Feb.  Together they have set a goal to read 1000 pages. They are looking for people that will sponsor them at a penny a page for this effort.

Here’s what Bryson has to say…

“I don’t want other kids to suffer because I am a child and I get all the water I want… I want every kid to be able to get the water they want too. It makes me feel happy to think I could help other kids be happy and get water to live. I hope all of you will help me in the water project to bring clean water to kids and adults everywhere.”

You can follow their blog at http://brysonandandrew.wordpress.com/


Raking for Water

Not sure how to raise money to help fund a well?  Here’s an idea…

This past fall, Hannah and her friends decided to raise money in their North Carolina neighborhood by doing yard work and donating the profits to The Water Project. Hannah and four of her friends raked and bagged leaves for their neighbors.

With just a few simple tasks, they were able to raise over $1,000 to help fund a well! And so not only did they help their neighbors with their leaves, they are now helping their global neighbors find clean, safe drinking water. Their creativity and hard work will make a real difference in many lives. Soon, a community in Sierra Leone will have a newly repaired well.

You can follow the progress of that project here at http://thewaterproject.org/community/projects/sierra-leone/full-wash-for-a-school-in-sierra-leone-567/