First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday evening at State House kicked off Beyond Zero 2017 calendar when she received a unique water purifier to clean 6.3 million litres of contaminated water, making it safe for drinking.
The 630,000 sachets of the purifier were donated to the Beyond Zero initiative by Procter and Gamble (P & G) whose team also demonstrated to the First Lady how the product purifies a bucket of contaminated water in 5 minutes.
P & G made the donation within the Childrens Safe Dinking Water (CSDW) programme and as part of the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
The Company’s Commercial Director Anthony Ng’ang’a said the technology is already making a difference to the lives of communities in parts of the country including Laikipia West where there are inadequate sources of safe drinking water.
The donation comes at a time when many parts of the country are experiencing acute shortages of water forcing thousands of people , especially in the ASAL regions to drink unsafe water.
It also comes when the ongoing national strike by doctors puts a strain on the availability of health services especially for vulnerable communities who are adversely affected and suffer water borne diseases. The new technology will lessen the burden of diseases which mostly affect children.
The water purifier will be distributed through the Beyond Zero programme whose team will identify the most vulnerable areas in terms of clean water insufficiency. Beyond Zero was represented at the ceremony by its Technical Advisor Ms Jane Kiragu and Programme Officer Ms Angela Lagat.
The CSDW programme has been running in Kenya since 2004 and P& G has already made a Sh 500 million investment in the country where it has already purified 1 billion litres of water.
Although P & G operates in over 75 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America, Kenya is the second largest beneficiary of the programme.
The company executes the CSDW in 22 counties bin Kenya including Machakos, Kajiado, Taita Taveta, Narok, Kisumu, Isiolo, Marsabit, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet,, Garissa and Kitui
The First Lady thanked the group for the donation saying Kenya needs home-grown solutions for its challenges.
She described the new technology as amazing after watching the product clean dirty water in 5 minutes.
The First Lady also formally received the Sh 8 million mobile laboratory donated to Beyond Zero during the TICAD conference last August.
The laboratory was donated to Beyond Zero through a partnership between between Toyota Tsusho, Sysmex and Terumo Corporations alongside Eiken Chemicals , all from Japan.
The First Lady formally received the truck from Toyota Tsusho, East Africa MD , Mr Sachio Yotsukura and a representative from Sysmex
The Mobile laboratory incorporates Haematology analyser used to check blood constituents, namely haemoglobin, neutrophils and mixed cells; CD4 testing to monitor levels of CD4 in sero positive patients and equipment for Malaria diagnosis among other medical equipment.
The Toyota Group also presented the First Lady with a Sh 100,000 donation to sponsor the fourth Edition of the First Lady’s annual Half Marathon on 12th March.
During the same ceremony, the First Lady presented Ms Joan Wamuhu Gachanja with the Margaret Kenyatta Scholarship Award, an initiative of the prestigious Brookhouse School that offers the girl-child from lower income communities the opportunity to pursue education and experience by learning in the institution . Ms Gachanja scored 425 marks in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education .
The Scholarship is aimed at preparing young leaders for Africa’s future.
The pupil was accompanied to State House by the Brookhouse School Director Mr John O’ Connor and the schools Advancement Manager Ms Joyce Gacheru.