August 09, 2011
The worst drought in 60 years has hit Eastern Africa. The disasters in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are now affecting 11 million people. Grundfos’ Water2Life programme is consequently forced to supply water for many more people than usual.
10 months ago the rain that was to supply water for the crops of the year failed to fall. Every day thousands of men, women and children try to escape famine, hoping to find water and food elsewhere. A large number of them are arriving at the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab in Kenya, whereas others go to Isiolo, which is the main city in the area where Grundfos’ Water2Life is active. In the villages around the city they are feeling the increasing pressure on the water supply systems, which are now expected to supply water for even more people.
The only reliable water supply system
There is urgent request for wells and water pumps in the area to ensure water from the subsoil for people, animals and crops. Consequently Grundfos is co-operating with the International Red Cross about the Water2Life programme about supplying clean water for the local villages.
Mary is on of the new people coming to the village of Kambi ya Juu to collect water. This place is where the first Water2Life system was installed. Mary lives with her four children a few kilometres from the village but the river there has dried up and the municipal water supply is very unreliable. This is why she is now coming to Kambi ya Juu to procure water for her family. She is very pleased that Grundfos has reduced the price of one 20 litre can of water to 1 shilling for this means that she can still afford to buy food for her children. Her husband is a construction worker and it is hard to feed the entire family for the 200 shilling a month that he earns.
Water ensures food
Peter lives in Kambi ya Juu. He is now getting water from the Grundfos LIFELINK system and subsequently going by bike to sell water at 3 shilling per can in the countryside. In this way he earns enough money for his family to get food and his two children to go to school.
The Water2Life program has so far installed two water systems paid by Grundfos staff. Efforts are made to ensure another five systems will be installed shortly.
Facts about Water2Life
- Water2Life is an in-house Grundfos staff programme. Staff worldwide collect money to provide clean water for poor people in Kenya.
- The programme is implemented in co-operation with Danish Red Cross and Kenya Red Cross Society.
- Water is collected from the underground by means of solar driven pump systems equipped with digital payment systems, Grundfos LIFELINK systems.
- The inhabitants of the villages pay by their cell phones – a small amount of money, used for the maintenance of the water systems. In this way, the villages are ensured clean water for at least 10 or 15 years.
- Red Cross is handling the hygiene and sanity training in the villages.
- Grundfos pays half of the expenses for each water system installed.