Safaricom Foundation has initiated water projects to benefit residents of Nairobi informal settlements, in a bid to support the fight against COVID-19.
Through the projects, an estimated 90,000 residents of Korogocho, Kawangware, Kibra and Mathare will be better prepared to prevent of the spread of COVID-19.
The water projects are being implemented in partnership with Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), Provide International and Ushirika School at a cost of over sh5.7 million.
The project with SHOFCO involves provision of clean water supply for 45 days in Kibra, Mathare and Kawangware as well as cash transfers to 500 vulnerable families.
Additionally, in partnership with Ushirika School, the Foundation installed a 10,000 litre water tank targeting Laini Saba residents in Kibra. Three water points have also been set up to ensure that vendors at the nearby Biashara market offer their services in hygienic conditions.
Joseph Ogutu, the Chairman, Safaricom Foundation noted that it is imperative that everyone joins hands in supporting initiatives that help curb the spread of COVID-19. “Basic hygiene and sanitation are two of the ways to stop its spread and we are happy to be doing our part through the Safaricom Foundation,” he said
In Korogocho, the Foundation has worked with Provide International to install nine 3,000 litre water tanks targeting all the nine villages within the area. At least 50 handwashing areas have been set up to promote hygiene.
The initiatives comes at the back drop of an estimated 21 million people in rural and urban slums in Kenya who access to clean, safe water leaving them to rely on unimproved water sources, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Additionally, 35.5million Kenyans use unimproved sanitation solutions, with majority especially in the slums relying on secondary vendors whose sources may be contaminated.
“We are glad to partner with Safaricom Foundation in supporting these communities. Clean and reliable water supply in the city’s informal settlements will go a long way in successfully curbing the spread of coronavirus in these settlements,” said Kennedy Odede, Chief Executive Officer, SHOFCO.
The telco has already donated sh200 million through the Safaricom and M-PESA Foundations towards providing Cash transfers for food to support vulnerable communities as well as thermal cameras worth sh10 million to the Ministry of Health installed in various border entry points.
The Foundation has also supported Uasin Gishu and Mombasa Counties with personal protective equipment for health workers while students in Kawangware and Dandora received devices for e-learning purposes. The Foundation has also partnered with Scope International to set up sanitation booths in 6 Counties in Nyanza and Western.