Approximately two weeks ago we were at Machakos to witness P&G Commission its Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme in a village five kilometers off Wamunyu town. After the launch we published and shared the article 17.3 million Kenyans are drinking dirty water – P&G on the road to help most of them that elicited an interesting debate on Twitter. On one side there were those led by @irenesconcierge who argued that the Private Sector cannot have a genuine interest in helping the society overcome challenges such as access to clean water, that only a Government led initiatives can decisively resolve certain basic human rights problems. In addition to that, they argued that the Private Sector are motivated by profits thus there is no way an issue such as access to clean water which affects the very poor can motivate the private sector into offering permanent solutions.
Those arguments seem valid. But if we may use Kenya where some 17.3 million human beings cannot have access to clean water as an example, the Government has had more than 50 years to resolve some basic human rights issues like ensuring each and every Kenyan has access to affordable, healthy and clean water for drinking yet about 40% of the population still get hospitalized almost on a daily basis on the grounds that they cannot drink water that is not dirty both by appearance and microbiological contamination – that is, over 50 years after independence, the problem of access to clean water still persists in Kenya. In areas where there is some level of access to clean water e.g. in major towns, the availability of the clean water is still a major problem as over 95% of the time the taps are dry, forcing residents to plan on how to store water and most times the water is stored in dirty containers.
The question that should be asked now is, when the Government is doing nothing, should the private sector sit back and watch? Globally, there are more than 663 million people who do not have access to clean water. Bodies such as the UN have tried to work with Governments so that the number of people suffering due to drinking and using dirty water can be eliminated, but in most parts of the world especially in Sub-saharan African it seems Governments are not willing to effectively pursue programmes that can ultimately ensure every single African has access to clean drinking water at all times. In Sub-saharan Africa therefore, I think we as citizens of this part of the world should come together to applaud and support initiatives intended to lessen the suffering of the rest of us – be they initiatives by the Governments or by profits motivated Private Sector.
In this regard therefore, we at Kachwanya.com highly commend the initiatives of P&G in which P&G, through the use of its 4 grams Water Cleaning Packet, has ensured that some 10 billion litres of water has been purified and made safe for drinking – globally. Starting this year, P&G has set in action programmes that will ensure an additional 5 billion litres of water is purified most of which will be available for consumption in the sub-saharan Africa particularly in Kenya.
In Kenya, P&G has targeted to purify dirty water in all the major counties that have serious challenges on access to clean water. These counties are mainly found in the Nyanza, Eastern and Coastal regions where the water available to most residents are surface run-offs, water gathered in shallow wells, and water that can be fetched in far off seasonal rivers. The type of water in these areas are dirty by appearance (see the image below), and in most cases are consumed raw. A few households however are able to fetch the water and boil it, but there is nothing they can do remove the soil, rock, and hard metal components that still pose a serious health challenge to the lives of those who drink the water.
With the P&G Water Purifier however, this dirty water can be transformed to look like the water in the second image below. We witnessed the transformation in real time when we attended the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water in Machakos from where we took the second image. For details on how to use the P&G Water Purifier that will transform water in the image above to water in the image below, please read this article.
As citizens of Kenya, the best we can do is to support P&G so that they can be able to target all the 17.3 million Kenyans whose source of water is the dirty water collected in shallow wells, by the road sides and in far off seasonal rivers. To those who live tens of kilometers away from water sources, the energy required to fetch that dirty water is foremost enormous. It is very unfair for the same water they have struggled to fetch to also be the reason for their weakness in body and health – it is very unfair for that water to also be the reason they have to spend colossal amounts of money to get treatment in at times non-existent health facilities.
So far P&G has not issued any direct calls for us as Kenyans to donate to their initiative. But globally one can contribute to the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water; and every time you make any donation, P&G multiplies it by ten. To make a donation you only need to click here and follow the donation link accordingly.