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News | Basics Needs & Social Entrepreneurship 22.03.2011
World Water Day: The Siemens Stiftung and its partners join forces to build additional water kiosks in rural Kenya
There are still some 780 million people without access to clean drinking water. Much has been achieved, for this is two billion people fewer than the figure cited only ten years ago, according to the latest UNICEF and WHO progress report. But in sub-Saharan Africa, 40 percent of the population still lives without clean drinking water.
The Siemens Stiftung is helping to bring drinking water to rural areas, relying on proven technologies, financial self-sustainability, local ownership, and additional training. With its water kiosk program, the Siemens Stiftung is also focusing on modern technologies and well-trained kiosk managers to give people in remote regions access to clean drinking water and pave the way to better health and hygiene. The kiosks also provide opportunities for income and entrepreneurship and help unlock the potential for further development. Since the kiosks are linked to existing community structures such as marketplaces, schools, or hospitals, they often help shorten what were otherwise long trips to obtain potable water. Even though the long-term goal must still be to connect every household to the water grid, water kiosks are an important step on that path.
The Siemens Stiftung has launched pilot projects with proven partners. In Kenya, two water stations were built last year in collaboration with the SkyJuice Foundation, PureFlow Water Solutions, and the Global Nature Fund. In the coming weeks, four more communities in the Thika region northeast of Nairobi will taste the benefits of clean drinking water. The initial sites have already been chosen in consultation with community representatives, health centers, and water committees, and construction is underway.