The Country Kenya
The Republic of Kenya is located on the east coast of the African continent and extends on both sides of the equator. With an area of around 580 000 km², it is slightly larger than France and is home to 52 million people. In addition to the two official languages English and Kiswahili, there are about 70 other local languages, whose importance is much greater than English, especially in rural areas. The population is made up of around 40 ethnic groups, the largest of which include Batu and Nilotic people. Since 2010 Kenya is a presidential republic with the current head of state Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. In the Human Development Index Kenya ranks 146th out of 189 (as of 2016). Although Kenya is the most powerful economy in East and Central Africa, more than half of the population lives below the poverty line. Far more than half of the population lives from agriculture, which, however, due to geological and geographical characteristics, only 20 percent of the country’s land is available as usable land.
The Project Location Rusinga Island
Rusinga Island is an island in Lake Victoria and belongs to the administrative district of Homa Bay County. The island is located in the eastern part of the lake and is about 16 kilometers long and at its widest point 5 kilometers wide. It is inhabited by about 40,000 people, most of whom belong to the Luo tribe. The majority of the inhabitants live from agriculture, fishing and tourism. With an HIV infection rate of 27 percent, the region is one of the most severely affected in Kenya, which is why a particularly high number of children here lose their parents at an early age or even grow up without them at all.
Despite the immediate vicinity of Lake Victoria, it is difficult for the population to obtain clean drinking water, as its water cannot be used without pretreatment. The water is polluted with small parasites (so-called flukes), which penetrate the body through skin contact and can cause the disease schistosomiasis, and human waste.
Our project aims to provide the Island of Hope with a supply of clean water. The Island of Hope is a community center on Rusinga Island, which was jointly developed by our Kenyan project partner Kennedy Okongo and the Czech organization Centrum Narovinu. The project site includes a public health station, a primary and secondary school, residential buildings for pupils and orphanages for girls and boys. Due to the situation described above, water supply is a problem. Currently, there is a system for filtering and disinfecting the water, but this does not purify the water in a sufficient quality. The system is also in a very bad condition.
Therefore, we would like to fundamentally renovate the existing water supply and ensure its functionality. Even after the structural implementation, we want to ensure the long-term use and reliable maintenance of the system by imparting knowledge and involving the local population.