Help Kenyan UU Church Set Up A Water Filter

Help Kenyan UU Church Set Up A Water Filter

Crowdfunding Completed: November 8, 2015

Amount Funded: $0

Project Owner: Kisii Unitarian Universalist Church in Kenya

Short Description of Project

The Kisii Unitarian Universalist Church has had a dream for years of building a small ceramics factory to provide clean water to local Kenyans through safe, effective ceramic water filters. If we pool our resources we can set up this factory, provide jobs for locals, promote UUism in Kenya, and give the gift of clean water. Let’s join together and accomplish something wonderful!

How was this project connected to UU?

Justine Magara, the Kenyan Minister of the Kisii Unitarian Universalist Church in Kisii, Kenya has a unique story of how he came to become a Unitarian Universalist. Having become dissatisfied with the divisiveness and dogmatism of the religion of his youth, Justine and several friends began to search online for a religious alternative that offered love instead of hate, humility instead of pride, openness instead of being closed off. After reading about Unitarian Universalism online, they made the bold move of contacting various Unitarian Universalist organizations, such as the International Council of Unitarian Universalists. This started a journey that has led to the founding of the Kisii Unitarian Universalist Church and that church’s partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee.
This project was started and will be run by local members of the Kisii Unitarian Universalist Church in Kisii, Kenya. The goal as envisioned by Kenyan UU minister Justine Magara is to serve the needs of his home country by providing clean water, which in turn can remedy a host of social justice maladies related to education, poverty, and disease.

Full Description of Project

Clean water means life. The gravity of that statement can easily be lost to the many of us that are likely a few steps away from abundant clean water. In many places around the world, like Kenya, clean water means avoiding parasites, infections, and sickness. It means more days in school for children and getting a better education, which can then lead to greater economic advancement, incomes, and well-being later on. The Center for Disease Control recommends colloidal ceramic water filters as an effective method of clean water home access. Kisii Unitarian Universalist Church has the worker-power, the vision, and the heart to build ceramic water filters, they just need a little bit of your help. The vision is to construct a working factory to build ceramic water filters and then distribute them across Kenya. This is not only a worthwhile investment in the way that it will help promote healthy living in Kenya, but also advancing Unitarian Universalist values within Africa.

Members from the Kisii UU Church in Kisii, Kenya.
Members from the Kisii UU Church in Kisii, Kenya.
Members from the Kisii UU Church in Kisii, Kenya.
Members from the Kisii UU Church in Kisii, Kenya.

Dirty water kills 5,000 children a day (1).
443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases (2).
In developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions (3).
Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease (4).
According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34 (5)!

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2 - United Nations Development Programme. "Human Development Report 2006: Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis." 2006. Available at
3 - United Nations. Statement by Secretary General Koffi Annan. June 2003.
4 - WHO/UNICEF. "Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done." 2009. available at
5 - World Health Organization. Executive Summary of "Costs and benefits of water and sanitation improvements at the global level."



So why use ceramic water filters? According to the Center for Disease Control they are an excellent way to get clean water reliably in people’s homes and offer a number of advantages over other methods (1). First, they are effective, reducing indicator bacteria species by 99.99% (2). The filters offer a powerful two step process that first removes particulate matter, bacteria, and parasites through filtration and then, secondly, a colloidal silver coating kills the remaining bacteria. In addition, they are reasonably low cost, long term, and provide work and income to locals that produce the filters. Cultural acceptance of the water filters is also high since they are easy to use, and they add a pleasant and slight ceramic taste to the water, which many locals are used to and find enjoyable. Yet another advantage is that the filters are personally owned. This ownership can avoid conflicts and access issues that can arise with publicly owned water sources.

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