Corporate Responsibility

Dow Water Technology provides clean drinking water in Kasarani

The Dow Chemical Company and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Little Sisters of St Francis, have commissioned the installation of an energy-efficient, high-recovery FILMTEC Reverse Osmosis filtration system for the removal of fluoride in drinking water sources at St Francis Community Hospital and learning institutions. As a result, over 6,000 students, patients, and community members now have access to clean drinking water.

Today, over half of the groundwater sources in Kenya, especially in the Rift Valley region, contain fluoride concentrations above the recommended levels. It is estimated that 20 million Kenyans suffer from teeth and bone fluorosis as a result. In Kenya, sustainable access to safe drinking water is around 60% in cities and towns – dropping to as low as 20% in the informal settlements where half of the urban population lives. In urban areas, a large population depends on boreholes water that often contains high fluoride levels.

Responding to this local need for residential clean drinking water, Dow and USAID partnered with the Little Sisters of St Francis to support this innovative water project. Building on existing work, Dow donated the technology and technical expertise to the project. USAID helped design the project and provided direct infrastructure investments including pipeline expansion, an efficient pumping system and construction of water kiosks to increase water access to the neighbouring community.

Yesterday the organizations celebrated the project commissioning with the US Under Secretary of Commerce, Gilbert Kaplan and the US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, among other guests from the US. President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.

“Through the collaboration with Dow and Little Sisters, we have managed to address the immediate challenge of the water services and the quality of water within the institution and the wider community. This project allowed us come together to find a way to solve a major challenge that could not be resolved without collaboration,” Joe Sanders, USAID/ KIWASH chief of party.

“Our long desired dream has come true. Where partnership exists, the fruits are seen and today, we have access to safe and adequate drinking water because of the partnership initiated by Dow and USAID,” Sister Irimina Nungari, Little Sisters of St Francis.

“Each day, Dow people collaborate with like-minded partners to seek solutions to the complex environmental, economic and social challenges facing our world. This project will have immediate impact, and serves as an encouraging example of how Dow is using its technology and expertise to create sustainable communities and advance human progress. Through the coordinating efforts and partnership of USAID and the Little Sisters of St Francis, over 6,000 community members will now have access to 12,500 liters every day of fluoride-free, adequate and potable drinking water,” said Dow East Africa Managing Director, Dave Govender.

Dow and USAID will offer training to various engineers on site, to ensure the sustainability of the project.