In East Africa, water-borne illnesses such as diarrhea, skin and eye diseases, and parasitic infections are common. Globally, diarrhea causes the deaths of more young children than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Lack of clean water is a quiet health crisis that can be easily prevented. Introduction of clean water systems not only improves individual health but also gives women and children freedom from walking long distances to retrieve water. When released from this task and the burden of disease, families can devote themselves to educational and economic ventures that improve household wellbeing and help communities become self-sustaining. Global Partners responds to communities with water needs through WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) projects that provide:
- Clean water infrastructure
- Assistance in water management & sustainability
- Sanitation facility improvement
- Hygiene education
In the Kasipul Constituency (KC) of western Kenya, many schools suffer due to lack of access to clean water. The KC WASH projects are funded entirely by members of the Sonoma County wine industry through Vineyards to Villages (V2V). Though the first school needed a borehole well, others in the area may be able to use springs, piped water systems, or shallow wells to meet their needs. There are 20 schools awaiting funding for WASH projects through this program.
Most recently, Global Partners completed an analysis of the impacts of the Kasipul Constituency Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (KC WASH) project at Apondo Primary School in rural western Kenya. The evaluation used a difference-in-difference methodology to evaluate the effects of the WASH project on child education and health. Findings suggest that the WASH project at Apondo reduced rates of diarrhea and parasitic and respiratory infection for the students, as well as giving them the ability to spend significantly more time on homework.