Nuru R&D Team Impacts Hygiene Through Clean Drinking Water Containers and Latrines
We have sold almost 1,000 handwashing stations in our community to date. This means that we have impacted the hygiene of around 5,000 community members. Community members have seen the value of its low cost, rugged design, and health benefits.
With this success, the next problem we wanted to tackle is to prevent re-contamination of drinking water in our community. Community members usually store drinking water in re-purposed containers—perhaps with a piece of metal sitting on top as the lid or perhaps without any lid at all. Other community members use buckets they purchased from a nearby town, but these buckets are made from a low-quality plastic and the lids break easily. Without airtight storage, there are many different ways that the drinking water can become unsafe even if it came from a clean source. For instance, a curious child with dirty hands or a thirsty chicken who interacts with the water supply may unknowingly contaminate the water and transmit disease throughout the entire family. So, we found low-cost water storage containers with secure lids to sell in the community. We were able to purchase these containers in bulk through a supplier in Nairobi to sell at a reduced price while still covering our transport and overhead costs. These containers are not only low-cost and rugged, but are physically appealing as well. Physical appeal plays a large role in whether or not community members will purchase our products in order to improve their hygiene. Initial demand has been high and we’ve already sold 50 water storage containers in 3 weeks.
Also, we had the opportunity to work with another non-profit in our area, Kenya Relief, which runs an orphanage and school on their compound. During a chance conversation with one of their staff members, we learned that they were looking to construct latrines in order to open up their school in January. So, we were able to help them construct 16 latrines in time for a grand opening to 150 students in January. This is the same latrine design that our social marketing team has branded as NuChoo in our community because of its durability and low-cost.
Now the students at Kenya Relief can focus on their studies. Of course, a little nap time is needed from all the strenuous learning as well.