The situation is urgent. For several months, Kenya has been suffering from a drought considered the worst in 40 years. Almost 6.4 million people were in desperate need of assistance in 2023, 67% of them children. Whilst the need for water has increased, some boreholes have run dry. Others have deteriorated, requiring repair or upgrades to improve their performance. The steps taken by humanitarian organisations and governments to tackle this issue remain insufficient, and solutions are often costly.
Following the initiative of the French Ambassador to Kenya, Arnaud Suquet, French companies are taking action through the Chamber of Commerce; to support a borehole improvement operation led by the French NGO ACTED. This comprehensive solution aims at improving the living conditions of inhabitants in several villages by providing water, sanitation and hygiene services.
A contribution from AGS
Thanks to its longstanding and strong presence in Africa, AGS is fully committed to this operation and contributed financially to rehabilitate a borehole in the village of Goda Korma.
In total, this facility supplies water to some 200 households, or approximately 1,200 people. The borehole is diesel-powered, so maintenance costs are high.
ACTED proposes converting the pumping station to run on solar energy. And for good reason: northern Kenya receives eight hours of sunshine daily, a real opportunity to reduce operating and maintenance costs and adopt a long-term solution for the surrounding communities. This will also make the borehole more environmentally friendly.
However, ACTED will ensure that the system remains hybrid, so that it can switch between solar and an alternative energy source, such as a diesel generator or the electricity grid, in the event of unfavourable weather. The association will also monitor consumption using water meters.
Improved hygiene in Kenya
The project will improve the safety of the drilling equipment. The rehabilitation of this borehole also has a direct impact on community hygiene by reducing the risk of water-borne diseases and improving the quality of drinking water. Thanks to this installation, ACTED aims to guarantee access to drinking water within a distance of 0.5 to 1 km (compared to 5.5 to 15 km today).
The project is the result of a joint study carried out in December 2022 by ACTED, the water services and the target communities in the counties of Isiolo, Samburu and Marsabit.
A technical assessment identified strategic boreholes which had dried up due to drought or damage. In all, five water resources were identified and selected for repair. 1,350 people are expected to directly benefit from improved access to drinking water and hygiene practices.
As a member of the UN Global Compact, AGS supports local communities around the world. To find out more about the work we do, find out more about the work we do, see our latest Communication on Progress.