Global water treatment company Pentair plc, the Pentair Foundation, andShining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) recently completed a multi-yearendeavor to expand access to safe drinking water in Kibera, animpoverished settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, with the implementation of water filtration technology and a cutting-edge aerial piping system thatdelivers clean drinking water to residents.
The effort was the result of a multi-year collaboration in which Pentairand the Pentair Foundation partnered with SHOFCO to implement the KiberaSchool for Girls’ Clean Water Access Project pilot program with twoobjectives: to create a more sustainable, fairly priced supply of cleanwater in Kibera, and to help reduce the number of contracted waterborneillnesses. The revenues from the project support the water system andhelp fund the Kibera School for Girls, thereby creating an integratedlink between clean water, the girls’ education and community development.
“When we first visited Kibera several years ago, it became clear thattreating the water to make it safe to drink was only the first step,” said Phil Rolchigo, Ph.D., Pentair Chief Technology Officer. “The largerchallenge was how to sustainably deliver the treated water to residentsas the water distribution system was not secure, leaving the potentialfor contamination as well as vandalism. Our solution was to literallyreach for the sky, and we designed and installed a custom aerial pipingsystem.”
Working collaboratively with SHOFCO, Pentair engineers designed, builtand installed a state-of the-art water filtration system to treat wateron site, doubling the volume of water that the system delivered to thecommunity. The aerial piping system, the first of its kind to beconstructed in Kenya, distributes the clean water away from groundwatercontamination while reducing the risk of tampering. The custom designedaerial system consists of overhead pipes supported by wooden poles thatconnect to 10 safe water distribution kiosks throughout Kibera.
“The lack of clean water disproportionately affects women and girls, whomust care for those who fall ill due to unsafe water and lack ofsanitation,” said Ed Gachuna, SHOFCO Chief Financial Officer. “Access toclean, safe water is key to empowering the women of Kibera, and tohelping the larger community build a better future.”
Project Recognized with Global Humanitarian Award
SHOFCO was recently recognized as the 2018 Hilton Humanitarian Prizerecipient for its local approach to transforming lives in Kenyanimpoverished settlements by providing critical services that disrupt thesurvival model, including the sustainable delivery of clean water inKibera. SHOFCO’s programs also include health care, education andeconomic empowerment for women and girls.
With an estimated one million residents within an area of less than 2.0square miles, smaller than New York’s Central Park, Kibera is one of themost densely populated places on the planet. Up until recently, therewas no running water in Kibera, and Kibera residents paid often paid tentimes what Nairobi city residents paid. With the completion of the CleanWater Access Project pilot program, SHOFCO and the Center for DiseaseControl (CDC) are partnering to research waterborne diseases in Kibera.Initial findings indicate a reduction in reports of waterborne diseasein neighboring health clinics since SHOFCO’s water program launched.
Photo: Pentair and the Pentair Foundation partnered with SHOFCO to implement the Kibera School for Girls’ Clean Water Access Project pilot program. The revenues from the project support the water system and help fund the Kibera School for Girls, thereby creating an integrated link between clean water, the girls’ education and community development. Photo courtesy of Louis Nderi. (Image: Business Wire)