1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Kenya: Drinking straight from the tap

Julia Mielke | Thuku Kariuki
June 17, 2024

In Kenya, around 28 million people have no access to clean drinking water. A start up has developed a way to harvest water from the air. Another purifies contaminated water from Lake Victoria.


Access to clean drinking water can lift up whole communities. It's a recognized human right, but in Kenya it’s out of reach for some 28 million people. 
In Homa Bay, locals only use water from Lake Victoria to wash their clothes, because it’s not clean enough to drink. 
Community authorities helped Kenyan start up Wable Maji Safi Solutions set up a water vending machine here that sucks up and purifies lake water. It’s one of over one hundred villages in the region that now have a machine supplying filtered water, which costs less than it would in a shop. 
Not only does the availability of clean water mean less disease and improved health, since fetching water is generally seen as a woman’s job, it also means that women and girls, who are responsible for fetching water,  have more time to work or go to school.
Even in the capital, Nairobi, access to clean water remains a problem. 
French company AWA makes atmospheric water dispensers, which extract moisture from the air using cooling-based technology that condenses water vapor and collects it as clean, drinkable water. In one girls' school where a dispenser has been installed, 1000 liters can be collected in the tank every day, slaking the thirst of about 400 students. And there's even enough left over to be used in the chemistry lab.