The life of Mukuru’s slum residents in Nairobi will soon change drastically because they will finally have access to clean water distributed through vending machines, instead of the polluted highly-priced alternative offered by informal vendors.
“The project is very efficient. Most residents now know how to use the system and we installed solar-powered lights for security at night,” says Johnstone Mutua, an officer of Kibera’s programme – run by the local nonprofit Shining Hope for Communities – similar to Mukuru’s. “This means someone can get water anytime they want.”
Following the success of the program developed in Kibera – Nairobi’s largest slum which has a total of 23 water stations – the Mukuru project has now installed 10 stations. Residents can now buy five 20-liter jerry cans of water per day without queuing. The new system works with plastic tokens exchangeable through the M-Pesa mobile money platform. The dispensers prevent residents from being at the mercy of the cartels that exploit the water market.