After a year filled with constant reminders to wash our hands in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, it has become increasingly evident that water – access and use – is critical for life. In Kenya, where poverty is no stranger, the access to clean water for sanitation and hygiene, irrigation for agriculture and training to do both of these sustainably have been a critical focus of World Renew’s programming. For nearly a decade, we have been working to train families on how to creatively use their land so that production is maximized.
World Renew’s training program impacts families like Kadzo’s who have realized a total transformation in her agricultural production. When Kadzo’s husband left her, she was destitute. As a single mom of five, Kadzo was facing severe challenges, but she did not give up. With World Renew’s sustainable farming training and economic empowerment, coupled with her focus on applying the learning she needed, Kadzo now grows enough crops and raises chickens and goats to provide permanent housing, nutritious food, and school fees for her children.
Our field staff shared, “This program has reached more than 6,000 farmers with conservation agriculture and other livelihoods impact.”
Even before COVID-19 hit the headlines, World Renew’s partners were in the process of implementing a 4-year Maternal and Child Health program in Kenyan communities to help mothers and infants thrive in both the prenatal and postnatal phases. This included training on proper nutrition, cleaning, and care of both mom and baby. And for any woman who has given birth, the access to water in all of these stages can mean the avoidance of infection and sepsis.
But when COVID-19 hit, communities in poverty felt it profoundly. World Renew’s partners needed to pivot to focus and began to train community leaders about hand washing and wearing masks to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. This included a massive campaign that incorporated distribution of soap, masks, and the installation of water access points (known as sanitation stations) to thousands of people. Over 5,000 masks were distributed, over 100 water access points were installed, and the team visited nearly 1,400 households in response.
And the impact continues. World Renew staff worked tirelessly to ensure families understood the importance of proper sanitation to save the lives of their family members. Families began to install latrines and continue to host more community conversations about the importance of proper hand washing routines. We continue to work on the ground to advocate for increased water access points so that more lives are protected as we look ahead.
Water has always been a cornerstone to stepping out of suffering and into hope. We remain committed to ensuring that water is available to as many people as possible. For we know that in Kenya and around the world, water is life.
Please consider making a donation to help communities around the world where clean water is scarce. Your gift not only provides the water needed for washing hands, cooking, proper sanitation, and caring for crops, it also provides hope for a brighter, healthier future.