Lucky Mwachi, Join the Pipe

Date grant awarded: July 12, 2016

Imagine if all you had to drink was muddy, contaminated water. If you had to choose between going thirsty and risking the health of you and your family. This is the reality for 56% of the population in Kenya. With limited access to clean water, major health issues such as gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders run rampant. Without a clean water supply that is accessible to everyone, access to water becomes an economic issue that disproportionately impacts those who have the least.

Motivated by the consequences of waterborne disease, Beth Koigi, Team leader for the Youth Environmental Hub is driven to support the provision of water to everyone in Kenya. Beth has been searching Kenya for projects which address water access issues, and is excited to support the work of Lucky Mwachi and the Join the Pipe Project with a flow fund made through our Youth Environmental Hub.

On a daily basis, about 400,000 people pass through Uhuru Park in Nairobi to relax, work, or catch up with friends. Plastic water bottles, a source of clean drinking water for those who can afford it, litter the area. For those who can’t afford to purchase water bottles, the only option is drinking contaminated water from unclean standpipes and other sources. Recognizing an opportunity to provide clean water access to many thousands of people, while also preventing the use of disposable water bottles and giving youth the opportunity to generate income, Join the Pipe is a collaborative project of the International Transformation Foundation (ITF) and the Join the Pipe Foundation.

Operating as a sustainable business to generate income for local youth, who will manage the project, ITF will install a reverse osmosis water station to sell clean water at an affordable price in Uhuru Park. Community members will have access to safe, clean, cheap water and will no longer have to risk their health by drinking dirty water from unsafe sources. By combining the supply of clean water with the elimination of water bottle pollution, and using a sustainable business model that empowers local youth, this project is poised to make an enormous contribution to the health of the entire community that uses Uhuru Park.