The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set an ambitious vision to achieve universal access to “safely managed” water and sanitation (including hygiene): defining a higher level of service, whilst prioritizing the poorest and most vulnerable among them the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In support of SDG 6; Ensure access to water and sanitation for all by 2030,and in acknowledging that access to clean and safe water is a right on its own, as it affects other important outcomes in the society such as Health, Education, and proper nutrition, DESK has set out to provide water to water-stressed and disadvantaged communities all over Kenya by drilling boreholes to provide clean and safe water for domestic and commercial use. This is done with the goal of promoting inclusive communities where both the Deaf and the Hearing benefit from DESK projects.
Access to clean and safe water is a right on its own, as it affects other important outcomes in the society such as Health, Education, and proper nutrition
Water is also a key driver of the economy. By providing water in communities, DESK creates economic opportunities that generate income for members of the community as they can use water for agri-business, irrigation, fish farming, and other economic activities that rely on water ending the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger. Access to clean and safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education reduces illness and death from disease, leading to improved public health, poverty reduction, and socio-economic development.
Global statistics hold that every year there are 1.7 billion deaths caused by water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid among others. Out of this, 446,000 are children younger than five years in middle and low-level income countries. In Kenya, water sanitation still remains a critical issue. At least 81% of the population lives without proper access to safe sanitation. Due to improper sanitation in Kenya, many continue to be exposed to multiple diseases. Most homes cannot afford proper toilets and as a result, many often prefer to dispose of their excrement unhygienically. The lack of resources and low-tech waste removal systems are major issues regarding why Kenyans in rural and urban settings are still exposed to improper sanitation. To counter this, DESK has implemented:
- Proper sanitation interventions such as building boreholes to increase access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation services to prevent water-borne diseases.
- Conducting proper sanitation and waste management training to reduce contamination of existing water resources.
- Implementing health-related projects under its WASH program aimed at improving public health and reduce the mortality rate in Kenya, especially for children under the age of five years.
- Working with the county and national governments to ensure the proper management of available water resources and infrastructure.