Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy: Safe Water For Schools

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy provides Maasai schools with access to safe drinking water.
December 2017

Suffering from avoidable health problems has become a tragic way of life in developing countries. Millions of people are challenged by the burden of infectious diseases, malnutrition, and health complications simply because they do not have access to clean drinking water. Together with our guests, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) is working towards eliminating these problems in Kenya, specifically with Maasai children – a demographic whose health inequalities continue to be persistent and pervasive.

Creating access to clean drinking water is one of the most powerful ways to improve the world. The Safe Water for Schools Initiative introduces sustainable, non-invasive means to acquire clean water for Maasai students in Kenya. Earlier this year, AKP brought the LifeStraw community filter, a high-volume water purifier designed to deliver safe drinking water, to 11 Maasai schools. 

The community filter’s hollow fibre filtration technology converts contaminated water into safe drinking water by removing a minimum of 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.999% of viruses and 99.99% of protozoan parasites. It prevents waterborne diseases common in Africa, such as diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera, worms, and cryptosporidiosis. Each filtration system can purify between 70,000 and 100,000 litres of water (enough to serve a school for three to five years), is chemical free, and does not require electrical power or batteries .

The introduction of this revolutionary community filter into Maasai schools improves nutrition by preventing loss of vital nutrients due to diarrhoea and water-related illness, helps prevent stunted growth and malnutrition in children who are particularly vulnerable to waterborne illness, and contributes to the economic development of the community through income saved by avoiding clinic expenses. The ready-access to clean water will also help increase the productivity of school children and staff by reducing absenteeism from sicknesses related to diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases. By implementing this programme in schools, AKP is promoting the health and wellbeing of Maasai children as well as fostering their active participation as stewards of their precious ecosystem in the Masai Mara.  

As part of AKP’s long-term commitment to the Maasai community, the Safe Water for Schools Initiative will use mobile phone technology to conduct quarterly surveys of all schools in the programme to ensure their filters are working properly, that schools continue to also practice complementary health and hygiene behaviours, and to assess the benefits of the programme.

AKP is excited to share a new video that shows the impact of the program and demonstrates the commitment that A&K has to the communities where our guests travel. With our community of supporters, AKP is hoping to expand this project throughout the Masai Mara, and eventually other locations where children are affected by the global water crisis.

Click on the image below to watch the video:

Visit www.akphilanthropy.org for more information about our projects worldwide.