LifeStraw clean water in Kenya

Standard: GS     Technology: Water      Location: Kenya

This project brings safe drinking water to more than 4.5m people in Western Kenya, while cutting 2.4m tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. It is one of the largest climate and safe water projects globally. Some 877,505 families use LifeStraw Family water filters to purify water in their home, rather than boiling water for drinking over open fires. The gravity-driven filters require no electricity or consumables. In particular, the project leveraged carbon finance to employ 4,000 health trainers, who helped with distribution, education and monitoring. It was one of nine ‘lighthouse’ projects selected by the United Nations in 2012 as best practice examples of climate action.

Delivering against the Global Goals

Safe water lowers the risk of contracting waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera.

Children are less likely to miss school through poor health.

More than 4.5m people have gained access to safe drinking water.

Some 4,000 health trainers took part in the first campaign – distributing filters, and carrying out training and monitoring.

LifeStraw Carbon for Water is one of the largest carbon reduction and safe water provision programmes in the world. As such, it creates healthy living spaces where communities can thrive.

The project cuts carbon by removing the need to boil water for drinking.

It also reduces demand for wood fuel, helping to protect local forests.

Case Study: Julius Kesis, LifeStraw Family customer

“I used to be sick on and off for five years. Whenever I visited the hospital I was told ‘you are suffering from Typhoid and Amoeba [Dysentery]’. I spent between 2,000 to 3,000 shillings each time … on treatment but still the problem persisted. My appetite became poor and [my] health continued to deteriorate. I went to many hospitals…I was advised to boil water for drinking but my problem became worse. I even contemplated taking my life…It was costly to buy firewood for boiling water… LifeStraw Family became my saviour… Since the day I received [it], I have always used [it] to filter my water. Nowadays I rarely visit hospitals… LifeStraw has helped to save money that we used for treatment of typhoid, amoeba, firewood and charcoal to boil water. [With] the money we save, we buy books for our children, [as well as] food and farm produce”.