Tag Archives: Kibera

Why Access to Sanitation is Key to Health, Development

When I was in Kenya this past July on the ONE Moms trip, I had quite a rude awakening when we traveled to rural areas -– a lack of toilets. There were not very many places for us to use the bathroom, unless we wanted to go in the bush or use one of the local latrines.

On the first day in Kisumu, in the western part of Kenya, I was forced to choose between using a latrine or waiting to get to a local hospital. Deciding I couldn’t wait, I walked to the latrine with a few of the other moms. Upon stepping in, I could barely breathe — the latrine smelled entirely of feces and urine and I absolutely could not overcome the smell to use the bathroom. Little did I know that it was one of the more sanitary latrines I would encounter during our time in rural Kenya. In Kibera, the lack of access to proper toilets was noticeable as well with bags of feces lining the streets. It’s no wonder cholera outbreaks are frequent.

It was then I realized something has to be done about sanitation in areas that desperately need it.

The lack of sanitary latrines in countries around the world is a serious problem and lack of sanitation claims the lives of thousands of people every year through connected diseases such as cholera and rotavirus, and parasites. It is vital to get this problem under control in order to save people from sickness and death.

According to this article, Sanitation: Cholera and the Super-loo, in the Economist some universities with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are coming up with smart ways to manage sanitation issues in developing nations. What is needed now? More investments in sanitation as well as smart ideas to solve the sanitation problem.

What is needed now? More investments in sanitation as well as smart ideas to solve the sanitation problem in developing countries. We know pit latrines work. It’s a matter of separately people from wastes. It’s now about access and smart investments to save people’s lives, especially children.

Photo:  Water pours into a rice field in Sapa, Viet Nam.According to the World Water Council, global fresh water consumption has increased six times over during the twentieth century, accompanying a tripling of the population in the same period.

UN Photo/Kibae Park

Sitting Down With Mary Martin Niepold, Founder of the Nyanya Project

One of the wonderful things about working in social good is the people you meet. I have met some amazing people over the past few years who are doing extraordinary things, even some in my own backyard.

Yesterday I joined Mary Martin Niepold for lunch and we chatted about Africa, her non-profit organization, the Nyanya Project, her recent TED talk at Wake Forest University where she is also a lecturer in journalism, the world of social good and ideas about future action campaigns. The Nyanya Project is a partner of Mom Bloggers for Social Good.

After visiting Africa as a volunteer in 2007 Mary was compelled to do something to help the people she had met, visited and worked with. As a grandmother herself she saw that no one was thinking about the grandmothers who carry so much of the burden of Africa as mothers and fathers die from AIDS and leave their children behind to be cared for. The grandmothers are the ones who are left.

The Nyanya Project empowers grandmothers to keep their families together in the face of AIDS devastation. They help African grandmothers form working cooperatives that generate the income necessary to provide healthcare, education and a loving home for their grandchildren.

The Nyanya Project also runs a preschool in Kibera, Kenya, one of the largest slums in east Africa. Children are able to get educated before they matriculate to primary school. They also get two meals a day and some of the grandmothers also work in the preschool.

Mary and the Nyanya Project are on the cusp of opening another preschool in Rwanda and are accepting donations to move towards opening their goal. If you would like to donate to the Nyanya Project visit them at www.nyanyaproject.org.

Partner Feature – The Nyanya Project

The Nyanya Project empowers grandmothers to keep their families together in the face of AIDS devastation. We help African grandmothers form working cooperatives that generate the income necessary to provide healthcare, education and a loving home for their grandchildren. After being trained to care for HIV-infected family members and reinvest income, the grandmothers become role models for other women in their communities. This sustainable model allows the grandmothers to become independent and ensures continued care for their families.

Visit them online at www.nyanyaproject.org and on fan them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nyanya-Project/244424588947268