Last month we visited Meru in Kenya to see first-hand the impact Solvatten is having on people’s lives. Whilst there, we met Martha Gitau and sister Nancy, running a Community Based Organisation (CBO) aimed at empowering local women. The CBO helps the women purchase Solvatten in affordable installments. The first shipment of Solvatten arrived in 2010 and are still being used today.
Highly effective water treatment
This is just one of many examples that demonstrate Solvatten is a cost-effective solution that is cared for and valued by its users. Water, sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) specialists often talk about the three C’s that affect change for vulnerable people and achieve positive health impacts: Correct, Consistent and Continued use.
We can see all of these at play in Meru: People are using Solvatten correctly and consistently, as reflected by the vast reduction in water related illnesses experienced by the community. Continued use is clear because people are using their Solvatten units five-years after receiving them, while the number of users continues to grow.
Product design important for continuous use
Continuity and training help to build trust and enthusiasm, but it is vital that users value the product if it is going to be a long-term solution. The Solvatten units are helping the women of Meru develop new skills and self worth, whilst enjoying safe, warm water. One of the users of Solvatten commented proudly “It makes me look smart!”, whilst explaining what Solvatten means for her.