BY EDDY NYADWA – Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB) has advanced Sh70 million towards providing access to clean safe water to about 10,000 households in rural and informal settlements. This the company says will be critical in helping to combat covid-19 and easing livelihood burden to households.
The funds, drawn from RB’s savings from budget cuts, will be provided to Water.org to enable affordable financing for water and sanitation solutions.
Speaking during a roundtable meeting to mark this year’s Global Handwashing Day, RB Country Manager Ibrahim Kabir, noted that hand hygiene is also critical in combating a range of infections.
” When emphasis was put on sanitation and hygiene to help combat Covid-19, people are washing hands more regularly and in this period we have witnesed a significant reduction of infectious diseases like diarrhea, colds and gastrointestinal illness” Kabir said.
He adds that the grant will benefit communities which urgently and desperately need access to water financing. A study by Water.org show that about 40 per cent of Kenyans rely on unimproved water sources such as ponds, shallow wells and rivers, whole 70 per cent use inimproved sanitation solutions.
Water.org regional director for Africa Francis Musinguzi said ” This grant will go a long way in providing households with affordable micro-loans for water connections, water storage facilities like tanks and construction of toilets”
Kenya Women Microfinance Bank is the partner in extending the water credit scheme. The managing Director Mwangi Githaiga noted that women are critical in the conversation on water.
“You cannot isolate women from water since they are sole providers of water at the household level. Working with them, we provide products to solve water challanges by purchasing and installing water tanks at the household level.” He said.
KWFT which is the largest microfinance bank in the country, will provide households and communities with affordable small loans as a sustainable, efficient, and scalable tool to help people living in poverty get access to safe water and sanitation.