Simply change the world. And make quite a lot of water clean with small efforts and technology that is easy to use. The WeWater donor community has just given 6500 people in Kenya valuable life time back and a future – with 14 new water filters. How has the arrival of these filters already changed lives for the better?
Tomkin Odhiambo Odo, Water Conservation Officer at the Kenyan State Department and WeWater volunteer has helped to install the filters onsite.
He came back with many happy stories about lives in a new flow. From tomorrow we will share some of these stories here in our blog.
You’ve got a demanding job, you are a married father of four children and you are a dedicated WeWater volunteer in Kenya. What drives your ambition?
My brother and I grew up with our grandparents in a village, our parents were in the City. Every day we had to fetch water for the family. We usually did this after school. It was a long walk, too exhausting for our grandparents. During the dry season we had to wake up very early, otherwise we’d come home with an empty bucket. During this time I made myself the promise that one day I’d solve the water problem in my village to make life easier for the generations to come.
Unfortunately, we have never been able to solve the problem completely because of the ever increasing population, which keeps on putting pressure on the dwindling water resources due to climate change. What I am doing now is encouraging communities to build resilience on the dwindling water resources and that’s where WeWater comes in.
How did you learn about WeWater?
While searching for simple water filtration solutions, my friend John put me in touch with an acquaintance. That was Steven from the NGO WeWater. At the time, WeWater was already using them very successfully to support communities in Uganda. I decided to bring the filters to Kenya to help communities with drinking water shortages quickly and easily.
You have spoken to many new users of the filters. What is their experience?
Where the water becomes clear, future blossoms! It really is a long list of positive changes they told me about. They are no longer suffering from frequent water borne diseases. They have extra time to farm their land instead of looking for water to drink. Those who used to buy drinking water have made a saving which they now use to help other people. Some have saved on energy/firewood used to boil water. Children have more time to concentrate on their studies instead of spending time looking for water and firewood.
WeWater is a community of people who know that with their individual contribution they can collectively initiate impactful changes. How does their commitment resonate with the users of the filters?
The users are now advocating for clean water and healthy living for all themselves, helping to ensure that as many people as possible can experience and participate having access to filtered water.
We should not underestimate what it means to the people here to have this important support in solving their most pressing problems – not just help from the government, but from donors who care about supporting them where it really matters. This is what I love about WeWater: It is not just another charity. It is a movement where everybody involved has a valuable contribution to make.
Still though there are some communities that have no water at all during the dry season. I’d love to help them with building wells, boreholes and roof water harvesting.
Now let’s talk unfiltered: Is there anything that donors should definitely know about?
Yes! The donors and future donors who want to join the WeWater community: Please read the messages of the people from the communities who received the water filters. There is no better way to experience the impact your commitment has and the joy and perspectives your donations create. I am excited to bring the fllters to many more communities.