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WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)

To provide clean water for human consumption, The Maa Trust rehabilitates natural springs and constructs community rainwater harvesting (CRWH) projects.

At the Maa Trust, we base all of our projects on innovation, sustainability, efficiency and practicality. We have found that extracting water from boreholes is not only expensive to maintain and prone to breaking down but it also provides water that has dangerously high levels of flouride salt.

The goal of the water programme is to reduce preventable illnesses by improving access to clean, safe water and sanitation in communities and schools through infrastructure development and WASH trainings.

Women bear the burden of providing water for families and so they spend a lot of time walking long distances to collect water. Walking up hills to springs and along rivers puts women at risk of human wildlife conflicts.

To address these problems, The Maa Trust constructs water projects in schools and communities. Infrastructure constructed by The Maa Trust includes seven community rainwater harvesting systems, two spring rehabilitations and smaller rainwater harvesting systems at schools and households.

Thanks to the latest community rainwater harvesting project in Nkirgir community constructed in 2022, an additional 5260 people can now access safe water, increasing the total to 15,660 people.

To provide clean water for human consumption, The Maa Trust rehabilitates natural springs and constructs community rainwater harvesting (CRWH) projects.

The Maa Trust no longer constructs boreholes because fluoride levels in groundwater in the Maasai Mara are double the WHO fit-for-consumption levels and there are continuous problems extracting groundwater. Access to clean and safe water is a challenge to most of the households in the Mara. Women spend a lot of time walking long distances to collect water, often from sources shared with livestock and wildlife, resulting in waterborne diseases.

In 2022, three additional community rainwater harvesting projects are being constructed, bringing the total to nine CRWH systems within the Mara. These new projects will benefit an additional 5260 people in Nkirgir and 1710 in Ngila communities thanks to our partnership with Aqua Nirvana Foundation.

Community rainwater harvesting projects consist of a large 1800m2 aluminum sheet roof, which drains into a 600,000 litre water tank. These simple systems ensure that communities can access clean rainwater free of fluoride for human consumption. At the cashless kiosks at each project, families pay 2 US cents to fill a 20ltr jerry can of clean, safe drinking water. This payment for services will ensure project sustainability.

The Maa Trust also constructs school rainwater harvesting and sanitation projects. It is essential that children have access to safe water to drink, and clean toilets to use while they are at school. The resultant decrease in illness improves school attendance and results.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) training is essential for the prevention of water related illnesses.

To prevent water related illnesses, it is important to provide both clean water and WASH training as clean water alone does not improve healthcare outcomes. For example, if women are collecting clean rainwater in a dirty jerrycan, the water will still be contaminated when they reach home, and if people are still defecating in the open, they will still get sick.

Community based WASH training workshops include the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach which aims to address open defecation by alerting the residents to the risk of transmission of diseases associated with poor hygiene and encouraging them to build toilets at their homesteads as well as observing the general hygiene measures. In some communities we are working in, only 11-12% homesteads have a toilet. After training, communities work towards becoming open-defecation free, by every homestead having a latrine.

Training undertaken in schools is having a dramatic impact to address these issues. Both genders participate in WASH clubs, which are led by both men and women. This has helped to make the boys understand that menstruation is natural and is something that they should understand and openly talk about.

We have supported 600 students in WASH clubs in 10 schools, 5 communities working towards becoming open defecation free, and trained 168 community members in WASH in 2021.

By the Numbers

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people benefiting from three additional rainwater harvesting projects constructed in 2022.



liters of water in an immense tank providing



square metres of aluminum sheet roof collecting rainwater.

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