Tuesday, 3 September 2013

US NGO Living Water International funds 200,000 people to access clean water in Kenya

Initiative is part of a global drive to improve access to water in the world.

Living Water International (Living Water), a Christian International NGO with offices in Houston, Texas, plans to boost its activities in Kenya by providing an estimated 200,000 people with safe drinking water at over US$ 4 Million (Ksh. 348 M) for the next three years.

Living Water President and CEO, Michael J. Mantel, PhD, said that his organisation was committed to uplifting the lives of millions of people across the world who lack access to safe water. “Water brings more than life; it brings Hope. Safe water is the foundation of life and without it, there is no hope. All this we do as an act of worship to God in line with our value; Honor God,” said Mantel. 

_Living Water International President and CEO  Dr.Mike Mantel offers a helping hand

He was speaking at a luncheon hosted by Living Water Service Centre, the Kenyan official subsidiary of Living Water, in Nairobi for leading Business, Donor, NGO and Church Community leaders, to discuss initiatives aimed at supporting more Kenyans to access to safe water.

Globally, it is estimated that over 783 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, most of whom reside in the developing world. Kenya’s population suffers this affliction, with about 13 million people lacking access to safe, reliable water sources. In Kenya, Living Water has funded over 698 projects since it started Christian Ministry work in 1990.

Mr Mantel emphasized that investing in water access was vital to strengthening communities and improving the general welfare of society. “Each dollar invested in water and sanitation initiatives yields at least four dollars in recovered time, productivity and health care savings” added Mr. Mantel, who is on a 3 day visit to Kenya, during which he will tour various projects spearheaded by its Kenyan subsidiary, Living Water Service Centre.

Living Water has helped needy communities gain access to safe drinking water, some for the first time, for more than 20 years. The organization’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene initiatives are designed to empower communities to educate themselves, prevent disease and keep water safe from collection up to consumption, freeing up community resources for development purposes.

The Kenya operation, Living Water Service Centre, has a mission to ensure “Kenyans experience the love of Christ and holistic living” by facilitating community access to water, promoting hygiene and sanitation, working with local churches and ministries in evangelism and discipleship, empowering communities and institution for ownership and influencing policies on Water, Hygiene and Sanitation and Christian witness. 

“We are in the first year of Living Water Service Centre’s three year strategic plan and are on track to double our growth and impact in alignment with the Living Water Global Strategy” the Country Director, Jacktone Akelo, stated. The organization has increased the number of WASH programmes and hygiene education at churches, schools and clinics in Butere and Kisumu East Districts, among others. This has led to increased engagement and community ownership. Living Water Service Centre is set to complete drilling of 45 wells this year, in line with the Strategic Plan (2013-2015).

Living Water Africa Region, the Nairobi based operation is leading the Africa continent on behalf of Living Water. It exists to demonstrate the love of God for humanity, providing leadership to 15 countries, including Kenya. “As an organization, our goal is to enable individuals and communities in Africa to experience “Living Water”- the gospel of Jesus Christ which alone, satisfies the deepest thirst” This, Living Water Africa Region achieves by promoting governance, accountability and providing guidance to all countries in Africa receiving Living Water resources.

Sustainability of water projects is a challenge, but Living Water operates a model that triumphs these challenges. First and most important, Living Water employs a set of Minimum Standards that ensure that Project hardware and software is implemented right the first time. “In addition to that, community engagement is what makes our projects sustainable” said the Living Water Africa Region Vice President, Victor Madziakapita, PhD. “During implementation of projects, the community is involved from the very beginning, both physically and spiritually” he added.

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