Empowering Rural Kenyan Women with Safe Drinking Water

Providing drinking water is a responsibility held disproportionately by women in the developing world. In rural Kenya, the burden is particularly high as women often must travel long distances to collect water and firewood, and spend hours boiling and cooling water. Learn how Nazava Water Filters help reduce this burden for thousands of Kenyan women. Then read a testimony from a mother who saves time, money, and enjoys better health by using Nazava.

In Kenya, as in much of the developing world, the burden of providing safe drinking water falls on the shoulders of women. Each day women and girls spend 200 million hours collecting and treating water [1]. Not only is this a colossal waste of their time, but it also puts women at greater risk of gender based violence. Furthermore, when a family member falls ill from drinking contaminated water, it is often women who must take care of them. 

Women who use Nazava save time and money and enjoy better health

Nazava Water Filters is for Women, by Women. Half our staff are women and 60 percent of management positions are held by women. Women are at the core of our mission and shape how we design and market our products. The Nazava Water Filter has a 16 liter capacity, whereas other filters have 10 liters or less, this means less time for women to fill the filters. Women that currently buy wood, LPG or kerosene or charcoal for boiling can save a lot of money using a Nazava water filter. Filtering water with a Nazava Water Filter is 3 times cheaper than boiling on LPG. 

For around US$ 40, Nazava Water Filters are very affordable, but for some, the upfront costs are still too much. That’s why we partner with microfinance institutions (MFIs) that work closely with women’s groups and allow customers to pay in installments. Female sales agents employed by Nazava directly or working with one of our MFI partners can earn 2.5 USD per sold filter. 

70 percent of Nazava customers in Kenya are women who save time, money, and enjoy better health using Nazava Water Filters. In customer surveys, more than 60 percent of respondents list health as the primary motivating factor for purchasing a filter. Besides health, convenience and time savings are some of the most commonly cited benefits from using a Nazava Water Filter. Surveyed customers in Indonesia save on average 2 hours and 40 minutes per week using Nazava [2]. In rural Kenya, the time savings are likely even higher where the use of firewood to boil water is more common.

Customer satisfaction results

Health, cost savings, and convenience are some of the most common factors for purchasing a filter.

Customer Testimony – Pauline Muli, Machakos County Kenya

Pauline Muli lives in a village in Machakos County, located in central Kenya, where she works as a farmer to support her five children. Before using Nazava she would fetch water from the river and then boil it using firewood or charcoal. This was very time consuming, tiring and left the water with a bad taste. Her kids would cough a lot because of the smoke from boiling on wood. She would often leave the boiled water in open containers to cool which left it vulnerable to recontamination. Her kids often suffered from diarrhea and stomach aches as a result. 

In October 2022, Pauline purchased a Nazava Water Filter on credit from Juhudi Kilimo, one of Nazava’s MFI partners in Kenya. The microloan helped make the filter affordable for her by reducing the upfront costs. Since then, she no longer spends hours each week boiling water or collecting firewood. She also saves about US$ 2.14 a week that she used to spend on charcoal. With safe drinking water, her kids are healthier and do not suffer from coughs like they used to. 

She recommends Nazava to her friends and family. She encouraged a group of 15 of her friends to join a Juhudi Kilimo lending group so they too can purchase a filter on credit. Pauline hopes that other members of her community will also get a Nazava Water Filter so they can enjoy the same benefits she has.


[1]: UNICEF. (2016, August 29). Collecting water is often a colossal waste of time for women and girls. https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/unicef-collecting-water-often-colossal-waste-time-women-and-girls

[2]: Carlsen, Meghan and Waddell, Katie, “Nazava Water Filters: Social Impact Assessment” (2016). Miller
Center Fellowship. 72. https://scholarcommons.scu.edu/gsbf/72