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Community WASH Program


Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) are serious challenges in rural Kenya. Manfamilies in the Maasai Mara get their water from open sources like pits and rivers shared with wildlife and livestock. 80% of hospitalizations in this area are related to dirty drinking water, and only 30% of the local population has access to sanitary latrines, both with devastating effects on health.

We are addressing this at the community level in three ways.


Women in the Maasai Mara bear the burden of fetching water for their families, walking long distances each day with a heavy load of water on their back. Furthermore, the water often comes from rivers or other open sources shared with livestock and wildlife, putting families at risk of water-borne disease.


We have addressed this at the Women's Work Center by constructing a Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) System drained from the aluminum sheet roof. This water is close to where the women live and free for families. 

In early 2024, a second RWH system is planned for the village of Ololchura at the Manyatta Library. 

women water tank.jpg


With our health partner MAMA Project, we distribute water-filtering systems to families for home use and to schools and small communities. Stacking bucket systems for homes incorporate Sawyer filters, and the larger community systems are made with LifeStraw filters. Both are state-of-the-art membrane filters. We also provide Aquatabs for removing viruses. These systems are helpful for families and communities who get their water from surface-area sources such as rivers.


We train women in the community spaces at the Oliveseed Women's Work Center and Lemek Hills Water Facility on using, assembling, and maintaining these systems, led by the training team from MAMA Project. Women also learn to teach other women in their community.


When we approached Olemoncho Primary about building a library for them, the school responded that first they desperately needed latrines, as this rural school had only "2 open pits in deplorable condition."


A lack of sanitary facilities has serious implications for health and is also a barrier to education. The school reported that building latrines would "solve problems including poor academic performance, drop-out rates, and low self-esteem." Families were reluctant to send their girls to this school, because of poor hygiene.


To address this, we built modern latrines at Olemoncho with separate areas for girls and boys, multiple stalls, doors for privacy, and sanitary hand-washing stations. Because Olemoncho accommodates the area's students with mobility disabilities, we included stalls for people with disabilities, with flush toilets, handle bars, and ramp entry — the first sanitary latrines in the Mara to accommodate disabilities.

Latrines at Olemoncho
Showers at the Women's Center
Womens Center Waterfilters_edited.jpg
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