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Kuwesa was started in the year 2007 as an income generating project for support groups, many of whom were H.I.V widows. Kuwesa then began to supply H.I.V + individuals with Bio-sand water filters to produce clean water without the use of energy or chemicals. This system was popular among those who received because within one week chronic diarrhea disappeared and all who shared the filter “felt better”.

Although the original purpose was to improve the health of those who were HIV+, the most obvious result was the reduction of mortality from diarrheal diseases and malaria in the 2-5 year olds. In the pilot area of Maganda, the availability of easy safe water through the use of Bio-sand water filters reduced mortality from five children per year to zero.

The process to obtain safe water requires two steps;

First, water must be clear before being purified. If the water is not visually clear, e.g. from a scumcovered pond or a muddy river or stream, it must be ‘settled’ until there is a clear remainder. In the Kaimosi area of western Kenya, most water is taken from scum covered ponds filled by drainage from clear springs. To obtain clear water from a spring, the source is identified and is forced through a dam into a steel pipe where it is gathered.

Clear water is purified by boiling, using chemicals or sand filtration. Kuwesa uses Bio-sand filters which require no energy or chemicals. The use of this Eco-friendly method has made safe water available to many families . The clear result has been the health improvement in children 2-5 years old with deaths in this agegroup decreased in the villages served so far, toddler mortality has gone from 4-6 deaths per year per village to zero.

This is significant as a Kenyan child born alive has 15% chance of not living until the fifth birth day. The Enecdotal comments from adults in the villages served speak of improved health and less sickness.

Kuwesa garden was begun by having the local acidic soil corrected with lime. Experiments were begun to test inter-cropping and different varieties of seeds. Indigenous vegetables were planted and encouraged. The garden staff also did demonstration projects at schools and community health centres to demonstrate the effectiveness of soil correction, raised seed beds and other innovations.

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