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Boost for Kenya as Chinese foundation launches new phase of water provision project

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The Living Water Project, an initiative co-sponsored by the Jiangsu People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Amity Foundation, an independent Chinese social organization, was launched on Thursday in Nairobi.

The project aims to provide a sustainable solution for underserved people by funding the construction of water supply methods, thereby improving ease of access to clean and safe drinking water.

Jiangsu Province Governor Ma Xin said he was delighted at the beginning of the new phase of the International Living Water Project, which is expected to bring water supply facilities and clean drinking water to more families and communities. He said this new phase will help bridge the “last mile” towards a better life through tangible cooperation that connects the people of Jiangsu and Kenya.

“Improving people’s welfare and increasing their well-being are important touchstones for Jiangsu’s engagement with Kenya,” Ma Xin said at the project’s launch ceremony.

Executive Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province Ma Xin (right) poses for a picture with Nairobi City County Woman Representative Esther Passaris (left) during the launch of the Living Water Project in Nairobi, Kenya. /CGTN Africa/Nyawira Mwangi

The Living Water project has helped bring clean safe drinking water to about 70,000 people in Kenya. Ethiopia, Nepal, Myanmar, and Cambodia since 2017.

Ma Xin added that Jiangsu Province had actively embraced the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and is carrying out projects focused on developing and improving people’s livelihoods in Belt and Road countries, including Kenya.

“Our provincial enterprises are also involved in constructing Kenya’s largest water conservancy project, the Thwake Dam, which, upon completion, will bring immense economic and social benefits to the local area in terms of water supply, power generation, and agricultural irrigation.”

Nairobi lawmaker Esther Passaris, who was also in attendance, said Thursday’s launch was a testament to the cooperation between China and Kenya. Passaris also expressed her appreciation for the Amity Foundation’s efforts toward realizing Sustainable Development Goal number 6: ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

“I am so proud to stand here today to be part of this campaign and I will work tirelessly to ensure that you achieve what you want to achieve in our country and across the borders,” Passaris said.

Nairobi City County Woman Representative Esther Passaris makes a speech during the launch of the Living Water Project in Nairobi, Kenya. /CGTN Africa/Nyawira Mwangi

Passaris said she hoped Kenya and the Amity Foundation would partner on more projects, including the construction of sanitation facilities to support a growing urban and industrial population, and the promotion of public health education awareness of water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

David Matinde, the headteacher of Chang Rong Light Centre in Nairobi’s Mathare area, hailed the impact of the Amity Foundation’s programs as “tremendous”.

Matinde noted that education and empowerment initiatives initiated by the Amity Foundation and the Dream Building Service Association (DBSA) had increased school turnout in the area and improved health and sanitation standards. These programs, he added, were crucial towards helping the children of Mathare break free from the cycle of poverty and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities.

David Matinde, the headteacher of Chang Rong Light Centre, said the project will positively impact thousands of people. /CGTN Africa/Nyawira Mwangi

“We have seen children who once struggled to concentrate in school now thriving academically, fueled by the nourishment and support they receive from the program. We have seen children who were once malnourished, receive a new lease of life; their health has bounced back in record time, all thanks to the efforts of Amity Foundation and DBSA through the programs.”

“By standing together and supporting programs like this, we can ensure that every child has the chance to grow, learn, and thrive.”

Matinde added that the project is expected to positively impact at least 7,000 beneficiaries living in marginalized communities. He added that the water and sanitation project will also ensure that students maintain high levels of cleanliness, thereby avoiding illnesses caused by waterborne diseases.

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