Motivated Change Makers

A visit to Kenya's VIA Water Innovation Challenge winners


Dickson Ochieng/SanivationDickson Ochieng/Sanivation

From November 2-12, Dick Bouman, VIA Water Fund Manager at Aqua for All, made a multi-purpose trip to Kenya. 

One of the purposes of the trip was to visit several VIA Water applicants and partners. The three Kenyan winners of the Water Challenge of last summer were visited on the spot  and they could get a final review before the completion of  their proposal. They were all very positive about the six weeks of feedback provided by Saskia Reus of Africa Funded/Aqua for All during the on-line Accelerator Program.

Hydroponics Africa had shifted from a research type of application to the development of a model that could stimulate water saving, hygienic and nutritious vegetable growing in Low Income Areas. Sanivation discussed the possibilities to reach the tenants of Land Lords and Estate housing in adopting better sanitation and TRACE  showed us how the program had assisted them to overcome a dead end in his planning.

We also visited a fourth project in Nakuru, where NAWASSCO, VEI, SNV and Scope had started to plan a new production line for compost and bio-fuel from fecal sludge. This shows that innovation projects need a lot of feedback  before they come to the best solution.  Finally, a number of organizations discussed their plans for VIA Water and Dick Bouman participated in a workshop for innovators that wanted to bring their products and services to the scale.

Visiting the projects and meeting the people provided a very good opportunity to taste the scene and to get motivation from many people that intend to work towards social change in Kenya. Next gathering will be mid December, when VIA Water is organizing a Learning Tour in Nairobi.

Peter Chege/HydroponicsPeter Chege/Hydroponics