Water is Life Kenya is a non-profit organization that brings clean, accessible water to communities in Southern Kenya. Our dream is to help Kenyans create solutions to access and manage available water and then use water to escape poverty.
Water is Life Kenya’s work is guided by 4 key values:
- Love your neighbor as yourself
- Don’t do for others what they can do for themselves
- Community involvement at every phase of the project cycle.
- Development means people recognizing the reality around them and their ability, with others, to change it.
How WILK works with Communities:
If a community desires to work with WILK, they contact WILK field staff. Preliminary community meetings are held to listen to the challenges community is experiencing and help them define where they’d like to go in the future. Partnership is defined and an agreement is entered with WILK and the community, with both parties understanding their responsibilities. A project is designed and implementation begins. Throughout project implementation, WILK builds capacity through trainings of the locally elected water management committee to ensure ability to manage the project sustainably into the future, including registering water project members, developing a constitution, rules and setting water tariffs. Once the project has been completed and handed over, WILK visits the project to monitor impact and provide additional trainings.
Following this pattern, WILK has seen 16 water projects completed that are meeting community needs, and empowered the community to take ownership of their water supply. Tens of thousands of Kenyans are drinking clean water EVERY DAY, thanks to WILK water projects.
One key component of sustainability of every water project is adequate resources for ongoing operation, maintenance and repairs of the water project equipment. This relies on the incomes of the water project members. Since members in these communities are predominantly Maasai livestock keepers, and incomes come from livestock, Water is Life Kenya has developed a livestock farmer training and microloan program called “Livestock as a Business” to teach more profitable livestock keeping through better management of livestock, drought cycle management, and application of basic business skills. Read more about WILK”s successful Livestock as a Business Program here.