The health has improved. There are fewer health incidents. Particularly diarrhea, skin infections, and eye infections”

Norwegian Refugee Council

PHOTO STORY FROM KAKUMA, TURKANA COUNTY, KENYA

Preventing the Outbreak of Cholera

BACKGROUND:
In Turkana County, Kenya resource-related conflicts are common and they often are so severe that people are forced to flee their homes. There are approximately 855,000 inhabitants in Turkana and the number is increasing. Poverty, limited access to water, knowledge-gaps and childcare are some of the underlying causes of malnutrition and starvation plaguing many children in the region. While life expectancy in Kenya is 57 years of age, the life expectancy in Turkana is much lower – just 42 years of age. Children in Turkana are especially vulnerable – 1 out of 3 children in Turkana die before they reach the age of 5.  

 

 

THE SOLVATTEN PROJECT:

Since 2014, the Solvatten project in Kakuma has improved the lives of approximately 92,000 people. Key results include:

  • Following the launch of Solvatten’s project, no outbreaks of cholera were reported in the target group, even though Turkana County is known as a high-risk area, according to UNICEF and the health-department.
  • The households who participated in the evaluation of Solvatten reported that the incidence of diarrheal diseases decreased by 35%.
  • Additionally, eye infections decreased by 18% and skin infections by 23%.
  • They also report that the costs of the energy required to boil and heat water has dropped by 50%.

 

REAL SOLUTIONS FOR REAL PROBLEMS:
The results of Solvatten’s work in Kenya demonstrate that increasing availability for safe and hot water enabled the users to maintain a better hygiene level which had a direct, positive impact on their health. To be able to wash one’s self properly is key – to bathe a child in clean, hot water reduces the risk of contracting eye infections and other soil-transmitted diseases.

 

The benefits of available hot water are myriad.  It underscores that access to both safe and hot water measurably improve the prospects of families working to lift themselves out of poverty, making Solvatten a cost-efficient component of humanitarian efforts.

 

This life-changing effort was made possible by generous support from Erling-Persson Family Foundation.

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