“We have magic that can overturn our lives and it has been sent from God.” This was what Peris M. Nyaga, Chief Officer – Health, Embu County told us when we showed her a water pack today.
Today has been a great day for the water back pack. We are beginning our research project with CDC, Habitat for Humanity and Mt. Kenya University. Our board chair here in Kenya recommended Embu County as the site for the research project. He couldn’t have selected a better place. There is both a great need in this area and the people are extremely receptive.
The sub location we are working in is Ishira. It is a semi-arid area and there isn’t really a safe water source. What they showed us as their safe water was tea colored. The health statistics show a high incidence of water borne illnesses – 297 cases in one month which included 24 cases of confirmed typhoid. That is high for a population of 6,500.
When David trained the community health workers they applauded and wanted to know how they could buy a pack.
We have done our ground work – we have given packs to the District Officer, the assistant chief, the Chief County Health Officer, the hospital administrator and the community health workers. Next the team will distribute the packs and train on how to use them. They will complete the surveys when they distribute the packs. We are studying behavior change over time and a decrease in water borne illnesses.
This research project is an important step in helping women all over Kenya receive a water back pack to transport and store safe drinking water.