One in ten persons lack access to safe drinking water, UNICEF

by Frank Muchugu, originally posted on May 25, 2016


One in ten persons lack access to safe drinking water globally with nearly half of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, a report by UNICEF has said.
In Kenya, water-related diseases, such as cholera and typhoid have affected communities in Nairobi, Eastern and Western regions since 2015.
Children are particularly affected by this scourge.
Diarrhoea disease, usually caused by poor water quality, insufficient hygiene, or inadequate sanitation, is the third leading cause of death among children under five.
It is estimated that almost 340,000 children globally die annually from these diseases, 3,100 of whom are Kenyans.
“In Kenya, 37% of people do not have access to safe drinking water and this impacts not only their health but also their education and economic opportunities – thus perpetuating a seemingly inescapable cycle of poverty. P&G has invested over a half a billion shillings (over Ksh. 500 million) to provide clean water in health clinics, schools, emergency relief efforts,” explains Vivek Sunder, Managing Director of P&G Kenya.
Speaking during an event in Machakos county where Procter and Gamble provided 10 billion liters of clean drinking water through their P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program,
Sunder said it is a constitutional right for every kid to have access to safe drinking water.
Machakos first lady Lillian Ng’an’ga who attended the event reiterated her commitment to uplifting the communities of Machakos through providing clean water.
Machakos County is one of the regions that P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program has focused on, partnering with ChildFund to ensure access to clean drinking water, along with improved sanitation and hygiene promotion activities in areas where the available water is not protected and easily contaminated.
“I am proud that corporates such as P&G have come to support our blueprint of providing water to every Machakos homestead by the year 2017. It is through such simple innovative yet effective ways of water purification that we can improve the lives of Machakos’ residents,” said the first lady for Machakos County.
Through the partnership, 162 trained Community Health Volunteers, who are members of the Machakos communities in Wamunyu, Mwala, Migwani and Ngwatanio are educating the residents on benefits of clean water. These volunteers visit primary and secondary schools, health facilities, as well as households in order to educate community members on how to use the Purifier of Water sachets. Additionally, regular training is given on proper water storage and good hygiene to ensure long-term behavioural change.
United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, goal number #6 aims to ensure availability of safe water and proper sanitation for all. P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Programme is committed to continuing its work in Kenya and the rest of the world, in order to ensure that even more communities have their lives enhanced by this basic human right,” added Sunder.
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