Water Matters

The latest on our work and those supporting it

Addressing urban WASH issues in Informal Urban Settlements

Yesterday I visited an Informal Urban Settlement in Mombasa, in an area called Likoni. Informal Urban Settlements, or slums, are areas characterised by poor housing and squalor, where the population lack official land tenure rights. Globally, more than 1 billion people live in slums, a figure that is rising all the time as people move to cities in search of employment.  Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issues are typically very challenging, as people lack access to clean water, and waste disposal (either of human excrement or household rubbish) is haphazard and unregulated.

Yesterday I visited Khasim,

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TWP link up with Hydraid and US Navy to get Bio Sand Filters to Uganda

 

Over the past few months there has been an interesting collaboration happening involving The Water Project, The US Navy and Hydraid (www.hydraid.com), all in the interest of aiding communities in Africa as they try to rise up from poverty and ill health. So what’s been going on? Well…..

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Northwest Girlchoir Sings for Water with Beautiful Results

For 38 years, the Northwest Girlchoir (http://www.northwestgirlchoir.org/) has championed extraordinary music education and performance opportunities for girls and young women.  This month, in honor of World Water Day 2011, the choral organization championed something else … clean water.  From concerts performed in two locations in the Seattle, Washington area, the choir’s Artistic Director, Sara Boos, decided that the groups would put their artistic talents to work to fund clean water projects, one internationally (in Africa), and one locally (toward Puget Sound’s clean-up).

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Are Water User Associations working?

I recently had a meeting with a local NGO here in Coast Province called Community Link International. They are a small and embryonic team, primarily made up of Margaret and Musyoka, with a couple of part time field staff. They’ve been registered as an NGO for about a year, but can collectively draw upon a couple of lifetime’s experience within development.

After graduating with a Sociology degree, Margaret spent time working for Amref in Lodwar, UNICEF in Nairobi and the Aga Khan Foundation in Mombasa, as her career progressed over the last 20 years. Musyoka chose a different path, spending 15 years in government before joining Margaret a few years ago at Aga Khan on a USAID funded WASH program. Together they have a lot to say –  about what they’ve learnt over the past 20 years, and about where they think the focus should be in future WASH policy.

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