The WaterStep team has long dreamt of the day we could make an impact in the Lake Victoria region of East Africa. Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world and it is depended upon by people living in its bordering countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is also heavily contaminated and a known source of waterborne illness.
WaterStep Field Consultant, Paul Owino, pictured above, has found a way for us to begin to have an impact on the shores of Lake Victoria. On a recent trip to the area, Paul met a man named Christopher. He shared with Paul that his family was struggling and he had come to the lake to fish to provide food for his table. Christopher told Paul that all of the fishermen go out on the lake in boats to fish and they are hot and thirsty when they get back. Having no other option, they drink the water from the lake and get sick. It’s a vicious cycle with no end. However, there is an end coming and Christopher, pictured below on the right, is going to be part of the solution.
Paul holds regular safe water and sanitation trainings at his facility in Kisumu, Kenya. At the most recent training, there were members of an organized group that monitors fishing and other businesses along Lake Victoria. They were amazed at the simplicity and effectiveness of the WaterStep equipment and have agreed to the installation of safe water systems at 37 beaches along the shores of Lake Victoria! Christopher will oversee the installation of the safe water system at his beach and the fishermen will now have safe water to drink when they come in with their catch for the day. The women and children who come to the lake to do laundry will also have access to safe water.
We are so thankful for Paul (pictured above, traveling to Lake Victoria villages with his family), who works tirelessly to accomplish WaterStep’s mission of saving lives with safe water. Claudia Daniels, WaterStep’s Director of Missions and International Partnerships, recently said to Paul, “You have touched so many lives and enabled them to take care of their families and hold their heads up high. It’s incredible work.”
WaterStep Nation is grateful for you, Paul. Keep up the amazing work!