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Safe Water & Sustainable Hygiene Initiative (SAWASHI) is a Non-governmental organization registered with the NGO-Coordination Board, Kenya. SAWASHI was founded in November 2015 as a community-based organization (CBO) and later attained the NGO status in 1st November 2016.

Since inception, the organization has successfully drilled and equipped over 20 boreholes, rehabilitated over 40 boreholes and shallow wells for communities and equipped them with hand-pumps as wells as constructed a water supply for a school abstracting water from a spring. The organization has been supporting operation and maintenance of over 180 existing rural water points fitted with hand-pumps in western Kenya in bid to enhance access to a reliable service in rural Kenya.

Borehole drilling, development and equipping (Video Clip by Kem Paul)

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Community Water Need

Imagine a world with no safe water! Water is an essential commodity for all. In Western Kenya, households rely on groundwater resource for domestic water supply. However, this essential commodity is not safe for communities consumption. Most communities fetch their domestic water from unprotected water sources. These water points are associated with many risks such as snakes and leeches attacks.

It is quite disturbing when water lacks in homes, schools, health facilities, worship centres. In the wake of COVID19, the dynamics of life changed. Water, sanitation and hygiene became the most important part mitigating against the coronavirus pandemic. Schools have opened and water challenges still persists. Humanity demands intervention to have these schools, health facilities, churches and communities enjoy water within reach. Working together in a concerted effort, Yes we can change this bitter reality.

Broken borehole at Kamashia Primary School (Photo by SAWASHI Media)

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Schools in western Kenya are victims of the water crisis. The majority of them lack water resources relying on learners to secure it; interrupting normal learning and affecting performance in schools. The use of pit latrines and lacking clean water in schools has contributed highly to illnesses among school-going children.

Emakhwale Primary School

Save a child’s life. Helps us bring clean water to schools and communities in remote areas of western Kenya.

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Western Kenya Water Crisis

Households in rural Western Kenya rely on the abundant groundwater resource for domestic water supply. Protected wells and shallow wells are the most common sources of communal water points. These water points are prone to contamination. This in return has contributed to the high prevalence of water-borne and water-related ailments. The table below shows the distribution of waterborne and water-related diseases in western Kenya.

Table 1: Distribution of the population in five counties of Western Kenya

CountyPopulation ProjectionPopulation density per sq Km% without access to improved water sources% without access to safe sanitationPrevalence of diarrhoea cases (Children under five years)
Kakamega1,867,57961838.916.047.0%
Vihiga590,0131,04736.713.543.2%
Busia893,68152738.738.782.0%
Bungoma1,670,57055228.228.160.9%
Siaya989,70839364.251.443.0%

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