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Mount Kenya University (MKU) in collaboration with Partners for Care (PFC) will implement more sustainable and impactful interventions in rural East Africa to improve the quality of water and sanitation services. The interventions aim to reduce waterborne illnesses and preventable diseases, and in light of the COVID-19, they are focusing on setting up hand wash stations to curb the spread of the virus.

The partnership between MKU and PFC was formed in 2015. PFC works within East Africa to eliminate preventable diseases including malaria, HIV/AIDS, waterborne illnesses, and malnutrition. The partnership was an opportunity for PFC to leverage on the presence of the MKU in various parts of the country and to make use of the project management and research expertise of faculty and staff. The partnership presented MKU with an opportunity to extend their reach to the community through joint activities with PFC. MKU students serve as volunteers and interns and faculty and staff serve as knowledge partners and consultants.

Together, the two institutions have been able to implement several projects. Examples include the distribution of 50,000 water backpacks, allowing safe water transport and storage and access to water for hundreds of thousands of people. Additionally, 9,000 pupils have been treated for jiggers and jigger infestations in Marsabit leading to improved school performance; this effort involved 547 students and 56 members of staff in community outreach programs. In the next 18 months, they intend to distribute 1,000 water backpacks in Laikipia County and to reach an additional 3,500 pupils with jigger infestation in Watamu, Kilifi County.