Microloans, Rainwater helps Women during draught

Project: Safe Water Solutions for Sub-Saharan African Women

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Source: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/James Karuga
Source: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/James Karuga

At the turn of the last century, Central Kenya received four months of Rain every year, which was enough for small scale farmers to make their living and feed their families. Today, those months have dwindled to two months. Rose Wanjiku initially resorted to irrigating from the local river, with the assistance of a pump. The new technology was expensive, however, and Wanjiku soon turned to harvesting rainwater. Gutters have been installed on her roof, and with aid from a local micro finance program, she purchased a 600-gallon tank to store the water. Wanjiku is one of 7,000 Kenyans receiving aid through a water credit scheme allowing homes to purchase tanks to capture clean rainwater, especially important in a country where 17 million of Kenya’s 41 million people lack access to potable water.

Kenya has 29,000 beneficiaries of water-related loans countrywide, with some funds going to building latrines or fix sewer systems to improve sanitation. The scheme also operates in Uganda, Bangladesh and India.

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