Lack of proper sewage, waste disposal and clean water are challenges that residents of Kariobangi have faced for many years. A good number of health challenges we deal with at Hands of Love are gastrointestinal infections related to contaminated water.
But there is positive movement in the direction of making clean water more accessible to resident of Kariobangi and surrounding slum areas. Since November 2018, Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company has been installing Automated Water Vending Machines (locally called water ATMs). These ‘ATMs’ supply water securely via a smart card-based payment system. Users load up “WaterCards” with credit, then use them to buy water via the ATM’s touch screen. Residents can now spend just half a shilling to fill a 20 liter (5 gallon) container where before they would buy the same for 10 shillings from water cartels. More importantly, the water quality is good.
This is good news for the neighborhood and the school and an unexpectedly good move by Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company especially because we are not used to receiving good services from public utilities.