KENYA -The Athi River, situated on the outskirts of Nairobi, grapples with environmental challenges as plastic waste chokes its waters. Compounded by the absence of piped water and sewage infrastructure, the region faces heightened difficulties in securing clean water, aggravated by recurring droughts.
Every week, water trucks deliver 5,000 to 10,000 liters to vending stations across Athi River, where residents purchase 20 liters for 20 Kenyan Shillings ($0.16). With an average weekly income of $13 for a family of four, some resort to unsafe alternatives when the trucked-in supplies run out.
Joyce Ngui, a 46-year-old resident, shares the struggles of accessing clean water, prompting some to use untreated swamp water. Ngui expresses the need for water filters to make swamp water potable, emphasizing the health risks associated with untreated water.
Responding to this critical need, the nonprofit organization, Water Hope, has distributed over 600 innovative water filters, provided by the Sawyer water filtering company, to households in Athi River since August. These compact devices, resembling small water bottles, effectively filter water from the river and nearby swamps, providing a safe and affordable drinking water solution.
Residents equipped with these water filters report significant health improvements, reducing waterborne diseases. However, experts stress the importance of scaling up such initiatives to address the broader challenges of water scarcity in Kenya, emphasizing the long-term impact of climate change-driven droughts.