Nestlé gives KSh2.5 Million as water support towards Community Hospital and Dairy Farmers in Kakamega County

To Press Releases listJul 2, 2014

Nestlé Kenya has, through the Rural Outreach Program (ROP), a non-profit organization that undertakes development activities to improve livelihoods of the rural poor in Kenya, donated Shs.2.5 million to ensure water supply for Elukhambi Community Hospital as well as dairy farmers in Kakamega County.

“The funds are being used to sink and install a borehole for the hospital as well as purchase six water tanks for the dairy farmers, and also to support other ROP initiatives in the county,” said Svetlana Obruchkova, Managing Director at Nestlé Kenya.

Elukhambi Hospital started as a dispensary and has faced limited water supply, depending only on rainwater collected in one tank, which often forced hospital staff to fetch water from the rivers. Kakamega County faces acute water shortage, which stands at 10,000 cubic metres against a supply of 8,700 cubic metres a day in the town alone. Water vendors have cashed in on the shortage, selling a 20-litre jerrican of water at Sh15 up from Sh2 ten years ago.

“The immediate impact of Nestlé’s support is enormous”, said ROP Founder and Executive Director, Prof. Ruth Oniang’o. The water harvesting tanks will be provided to dairy farmers who do not have water in their homes, and are far from rivers from which they can draw water. Dairy animals need plenty of water to be able to produce good quantities of milk, and to maintain the hygiene associated with milking and milk handling”, she added. “Of course as the tanks serve dairy animals, families will also benefit from the same”.

In 2013, having witnessed the positive impact of Nestlé’s support in Kabiyet where the Company has since 2009 been providing technical expertise to Kabiyet Dairies and farmers within the framework of the East Africa Dairy Development, ROP partnered with Nestlé for a dairy development program in Kakamega County. The support by Nestlé has included training of ROP extension staff and progressive farmers on best dairy farming practices, and funding to establish fodder nurseries. In July 2013, the project started at pilot scale with 6 women farmers taking ownership of 6 dairy cows. Two fodder nurseries financed by Nestlé were established.

To-date, 2 extension officers and 54 farmers have been trained, and the best practices on dairy farming are being cascaded and implemented by other farmers in the County.

Kakamega County together with Nairobi are the largest of the 47 counties in the country with a population of about 6 million people, and challenges associated with water shortages are common.

According to Prof. Oniang’o, a constant supply of water to the Elukhambi Community Hospital will now ensure provision of services including routine treatment, dental, surgery, eye care, maternal, paediatric, HIV counselling, and family planning are not interrupted.

“This collaboration is very welcome and much appreciated by ROP and community members that will benefit from this support,” she added.

Last month, during the 2014 Agribusiness & Food World Forum held between the 15th and 19th June in Cape Town, South Africa, Professor Oniang'o, received the Distinguished Service Award for her influence on the development of nutrition training and agricultural research and development throughout Africa. “We join the international community to congratulate Professor Oniang'o, who has gone beyond her home country to participate in international activities that have helped generate decisions that have shaped and furthered global food security and nutrition.” said Svetlana.

Under its Creating Shared Value (CSV) initiative, Nestlé has focused on the areas of Nutrition, Water and Rural Development where it supports by funding and/or providing technical expertise. Under this CSV initiative, Nestlé believes that for a company to be successful in the long term and create value for its shareholders, it must also create value for society.