Trizah 47, a resident of Kayole Rasta and a member of a participating household has lived in this area for the last 17 years and knows only too well what it means not to have adequate clean water. She is hardly able to get the 100 litres of water that her family of 9 requires to use on a daily basis. The little water that is available is heavily contaminated and is not suitable for drinking leaving the family, especially the children vulnerable to disease.
“I can comfortably say that my children no longer have as many episodes of diarrhea as they used to have before I started using this copper coil introduced by AAH. I do not make trips to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital to get ORS (oral rehydration salts) for my children. I now save that money buy food’” says a visibly excited Trizah. “The coil has assisted me greatly and I like it because it is simple to use and it is durable. The health education that we have received from the community health workers has also helped me to look after my children’s health.”
Trizah would have been happier if the coils were also issued to neigbouring schools and households to ensure safe water for her children just like she has in her house. She has been using the coil for the last 3 months.
Across the road is another resident, Judy, a mother of three and currently expecting her fourth child. She is a beneficiary of the WASH project. Prior to the introduction of the coil, she would boil her own drinking water while the rest of the family members would consume untreated water since she could not afford to boil water for the entire family. But following the introduction of the copper coil her entire family can now enjoy safe drinking water. “I would only afford to boil drinking water for myself because I used to fall sick often and I knew this is not good when I am pregnant. My children and my husband would take our usual water which is not safe. When I received this copper-coil, I decided to give it a try. I am not disappointed because the water is safe to drink and doesn’t make me sick. The coil is much easier and cheap because I don’t have to use money to buy charcoal to boil water anymore. I can provide safe drinking water to my entire family at no cost at all,” says a beaming Judy.
Judy and Trizah present just two of the 125 households in Kayole selected to participate in the project. Community health workers working with the project have continued to conduct field visits and are providing basic health education to the residents who are eager to learn how to keep their families health and free of disease. It has emerged that residents who were initially hesitant to be part of the project want to be included in the project. A scale-up of this project once the 18 months are over will go a long way in making this life saving device available to many more deserving households.