Collective Impact Approach improves safe water access in Kenya
With learnings from past programs, Pentair has adopted a holistic approach – dubbed ‘top to tap’ – in and around the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya. Together with partners from cross-sector groups in Kenya, Pentair is working to steward and protect water from its source (the ‘top’ of the watershed) where it nourishes valuable ecosystems and communities, and help to deliver it to the ‘water taps’ of the four million people who live in Nairobi. Current program elements include:
Tana River, Kenya
Pentair is committed to protecting Nairobi’s water source upstream through conservation and improved agricultural practices in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. The company first partnered with The Nature Conservancy in 2010 to help protect the Tana River, which is the primary source of drinking water to four million Nairobi citizens, and generates 50 percent of the nation’s power through hydroelectricity. Pentair is a key partner in The Nature Conservancy's water projects on the Tana River, providing support to both upstream community programs as well as developing engineering solutions to address Nairobi’s considerable water quality and availability challenges.
In 2013, Pentair announced its commitment to help address the safe water needs for the people in Kibera, an impoverished settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. One of the most densely populated places on the planet, Kibera has an estimated population of more than a half million residents living in an area of less than 2.0 square miles, smaller than New York City’s Central Park. There is no running water, and residents pay exorbitant rates for water— often 10 times what Nairobi city residents pay. The lack of clean water disproportionately affects women and girls, who are left to tend to those who fall ill due to unsafe water and lack of sanitation. Access to clean, safe water is thus key to empowering the women of Kibera, and to helping the larger community build a better future.
The Safe Water program has created a more stable, fairly priced supply of clean water to community members, and helps reduce the number of people contracting waterborne illnesses. The revenues from the project not only sustain the water system, but also help to fund the Kibera School for Girls, thereby creating an integrated link between clean water, girls’ education and community development. Pentair is a proud supporter of this project, called the Kibera School for Girls’ Clean Water Access Project.
Pentair committed to working with its partners to improve access to clean, safe water in Kibera. To tackle this challenge, Pentair harnesses its technology, engineering expertise, products, philanthropic dollars and its employees passions for making a difference. The company seeks to work within its value chain to find other partners who can add value and help solve the unique water treatment and distribution problems posed to high density urban settlements, such as Kibera. By looking at the issue of clean water through the lens of community needs – such as girls’ education, health services, and sanitation – and at an ecosystem level, Pentair seeks to replicate what has proven to be successful while innovating new approaches that offer scalable potential and wider applicability.