An East African Country, Kenya borders five other African countries and covers 224,445 square miles with a population of over 49 million people and known for it’s tropical climate, bordering the Indian Ocean and the largest tropical freshwater lake in the world, Lake Victoria. Kenya’s landscape changes from a humid, tropical climate to savannah grasslands near its capital, Nairobi, making it a thriving environment for Africa’s wildlife and a favorite for African tourism.
Kenya also has a thriving GDP, the largest for East and Central Africa, with commercial, agriculture and service industries leading the economical success. Kenya gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1963 and was declared a republic just one year later, named after the famed, Mount Kenya, the second largest mountain on the continent. The national languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.
Although Kenya’s economy is leading central and eastern Africa, they do rank at the bottom of the “medium human development” category of the Human Development Index at 146 out of 188. The HDI is part of the measurement of the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report, most recently released in March of 2017.
For the women and men of FWS, their faith is part of their daily lives and is leading their daily efforts to fight the water crisis.
The Water Crisis in Kenya
According to WaterAid, over 19 million of Kenya’s 49 million residents don’t have safe water and 32 million (7 in 10 people) don’t have access to a decent toilet. This lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene steals the lives of over 5,000 children under 5 each year from diarrhoeal disease.
As well as being scarce, water in Kenya is not distributed fairly. Priority is given to planned urban areas and wealthy rural communities that can pay for services, so those in slums and remote communities often go without opportunities for development. Water, sanitation and hygiene-related illnesses and conditions are the number one cause of hospitalization in children under age 5. Access to water and sanitation also contribute to time savings for women, more hours in school for girls and fewer health costs.
The Water Solution in Kenya
Water4 started working with partners in Kenya, now known as Freedom Water Solutions, in 2015. Freedom Water Solutions started as a new enterprise in 2018, but has been operating since 2015, completing 22 new water projects focused south of Mombasa. Alois Gathenya (Emmanuel) leads the enterprise as the managing director and Wali Elly leads operations and Field Operations Director. In addition to Emmanuel and Wali, there are six drill team members.
In addition to leading the field operations for FWS, Wali is also a Water4 Champion in Manual Drilling and Hydrogeology, making drilling one of the main strengths of FWS. Their 2018 goal is to complete 20 water projects and learn to use new types of drilling equipment that will allow them to drill through rock faster.
Emmanuel is Rwandan, but grew up in Kenya due to the Rwandan genocide in the early 1990s. Over the years, Emmanuel has developed a lot of experience in management and disciple making in Kenya, and is now able implement that experience into his daily life and leadership of his team and communities through Water Access Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) training and Disciple Making Movements (DMM).
“Freedom Water Solutions is focused on holistic community transformation in areas south of Mombasa, Kenya,” said Water4 Director of Implementation, Richard Moore. “They spend ample time in each community training in WaSH and DMM after drilling a new well working to meet the community’s physical and spiritual needs.”
For the women and men of FWS, their faith is part of their daily lives and is leading their daily efforts to fight the water crisis. The team members and leaders of FWS are exceptional in character and skill and we look forward to seeing their growth over the years.
By Emilie Hechtner / Sources: Wikipedia, WaterAid / Category: Countries