Meeting Women Using Solvatten in Kenya

story Thursday, March 7, 2019

This February we have been in Kenya meeting users and key people who have benefited from the Solvatten projects.

It’s early morning in Tharaka, Kenya. We are just hopping in to a sand-colored Toyota Trailblazer. In Tharaka, Solvatten works together with International Aid Service (IAS) to distribute safe and hot water to people in need.  Our first visit is to the Tharaka sub-county health clinic, where local health officers Paul and Duncan welcome us. Paul explains that in Tharaka, since the implementation of Solvatten, 9 months ago, the families using them have improved their life styles on many levels. Most notably improved their health. Cholera is usually frequent here and so is typhoid and diarrhea diseases. The chronic poverty, the parasites and amoebas keep a significant proportion of Tharakas children malnourished.

“Solvatten is so much needed here”, says Paul, Tharaka public health officer. He also gives his blessings to the collaboration with IAS and the community health workers cluster groups.

Ylva Kronheffer, Solvatten Project Manager, meeting users in western Kenya.

In our next stop we meet Ann Kawira, a mother of two children living in a small land lot, squeezed in between fields of tall growing sugar canes. She has been using the Solvatten for 8 months. Ann Kawira says that her children have no case of malnutrition because Solvatten helps her use the money saved from treatments to improve their diet.

“Before we have been suffering especially children with stomach problems which have ended or greatly decreased after starting to use the Solvatten container. Amoeba was the main diagnosed case. We used to visit the hospital even twice a week, sometimes we ignored going although we had the need to go to hospital. Nowadays we only visit for other problems and not stomach related problems”.

 

Ann adds: “I am thankful for the Solvatten and since I even share the water with my neighbours who comes to borrow, I wish to request more Solvatten, so they also have it”.

Bernard Omondi is the program coordinator in Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya. Mr. Omondi have experienced first hand all the great things that comes with the implementation of Solvatten. He states that Tharaka is arid, dry, rocky and most of the soil is sandy. According to Mr. Omondi’s estimation, 60% of the people drink unsafe water on a daily basis taken directly from rivers and ponds. 

Mr. Omondi continues: “One of the greatest concerns in the area is how to reduce the pace of deforestation. Trees are scarce in the region, yet people keep cutting them down for firewood. It would have a large impact on the environment if Solvatten could help to reduce the number of trees cut per day. Another problem is that a lot of people take their water that is contaminated directly from the river. However, if they could use Solvatten to treat the water before they drink it, it will have a great health impact in general.”

It is great to see first hand how Solvatten is making tangible social and environmental impact to people most affected by climate change.