Kenya is the birthplace of Living Water International. In 1990, a group of missionaries from Houston, Texas, visited Kenya and saw the desperate need for safe water. The missionaries saw the immense need as an equally great potential to transform lives. In 2011, Living Water International was legally registered in Kenya under the name of Living Water Service Centre (LWSC). In 2012, Living Water Service Center established WASH Program Areas (WPAs) in Butere and Kisumu East, thus concentrating about 80 percent of its WASH and gospel activities in these areas. This has made Living Water Service Centre a leading entity in water provision for these two areas. Involvement in WASH stakeholders network meetings, engagement in county water policy development, and partnership with main churches and prisons all extend the influence of WASH programs throughout the region.
All our water projects are preceded by intensive community engagement, which prepares the beneficiaries to take ownership of the sustainability of their new water access point. The community members provide labor, resources, and hospitality—playing an essential role in project efficiency.
We believe that establishing safe water access and hygiene and sanitation standards are the foundation of broader goals such as improved education and medical advancements. This specialization in WASH has led to innovations improving our assessment, approach, technology, and resource utilization.
Living Water Service Centre will continue developing the WASH Program Areas in Kisumu and Butere through 2019.
The Living Water Service Centre aims to provide safe water access through new wells, rehabilitations, and complex water solutions.
The main technological approach in developing new water points is drilling boreholes. However, other approaches utilized include rainwater collection and storage (especially for schools), spring protection and extensions, lake water treatments systems, and sand dams. Use of solar powered water systems and large scale water systems are being considered as future options. The main considerations on any technical approach to be adopted will be determined by the available community resources, viability, capital construction costs, maintenance costs and community demand.
Living Water Service Centre owns and operates a PRD 650 DTH borehole drilling rig with depth capabilities of 150 meters. The use of our own equipment has not only allowed us to save on well construction costs by over 30 percent, but also enabled us to better monitor the well quality and ensure adherence to national water standards and Living Water standards. Additionally, the equipment has enabled timely responses to needs that arise.
Additionally, Living Water Service Centre coordinates the repairs of its completed projects based on assessments conducted during service visits. We remove all old parts, develop casings using compressed air, replace or repairs any unserviceable components, and repair well platforms, if necessary. We engage the local communities through water user committees, which are responsible for managing the operation and maintenance (O&M) finances to improve the performance, efficiency, and sustainability of the water supply. We hold O&M workshops at which we train attendees on basic pump operation and maintenance, water service governance, and policy issues as per the Kenya Water Act 2002.
Living Water Service Centre carries out trainings at the community level to develop ownership of hygiene and sanitation practices that support health. The participants are trained for specific roles and responsibilities, community mobilization, and communication skills that all enable them to effectively execute their work.
The Living Water Service Centre hygiene promotion team helps facilitate the formation of School Health Clubs (SHCs) in partnership with the teachers in charge of the health clubs, motivating students to understand the need for good hygiene practices. To sustain total sanitation, we facilitate communities so that they can conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation and take action to become Open Defecation Free (ODF). To complete this process, an ODF committee will be formed from the community members to oversee the construction of latrines in the community.
As a faith-based organization, we cannot address material needs within a community without recognizing and participating in God’s work of transforming lives. Living Water Service Centre believes the best news for communities is not that they can have safe water, but they can be reconciled with their Creator through Jesus Christ. For us, delivering this Good News looks like:
•Empowering local churches to be instruments in community development
•Partnering with pastors and church leadership to create networks representing Christ
•Incorporating integral mission throughout programs without denominational bias
•Training and empowering pastors to lead teach the gospel using Bible storytelling
•Showing JESUS films in communities to inform about Christ’s life
•Maintaining prison ministries to offer hope to the incarcerated