JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Today, Square 1 Technologies' co-founders hosted the president of the U.S. Center for Diplomacy, also the founder of Transform Africa, a humanitarian organization that's now working to bring clean water to Kenya. It began with two African women who wanted to start a business.
His excellency, Dr. Rollan Roberts, says, "They were starting to tell me about their business and they just broke down crying and said, 'I'm not going, I can't do a business, I can't even put water for my family tonight -- we're not going to eat I don't have water and I realized I can't help these people build businesses and grow the economy until we meet some very basic needs."
A partnership began with Square 1. For the second time this summer, a delegation of Kenyan finance ministers came to tour the facility and see how the water system works. One of many water purification systems that will be sent to Kenya's urban communities, then to its rural ones.
This company's operators tell me that anywhere from 60 to 90 of the machines that you see here behind me will be heading over to Africa in that first wave. Founders are hoping that this will improve economies and that it will provide clean water to many communities.
Co-founder and Square 1 President, Joe Montgomery, says, "Clean water is getting more and more scarce, because of pollution. The earth's natural underground water filter is getting clogged up and there's no turning back from that. So, we have to rely on technology to survive."
Kenyan finance minister, Alfred Lagat, explains that this purification system will not only provide clean and mineralized water to people, but animals, and crops as well. He shares that Kenya's economy relies on pastoral and agrarian communities. This access will help strengthen the economy.
Lagat says, "This really is going to have a whole backward linkage to make sure that both the end result is met, but we're also able to sustain the food chain along the ecological system."
Finance minister, Mathew Buya, explains that the poverty level is around 52% with the overall population living with less than $1 a day. He believes the purifier's solar energy component will save money making water more affordable.
Buya says, "Within that dollar, they must get food, they must get water, they must get medication. They also have to afford an education for their children. So our interest is, even as we deliver water to this population, then they must afford it."
Transform Africa's founder, Dr. Roberts, says this is something everyone should be paying attention to because the world's water is irreplaceable.
"If you give people water most of their illnesses, many of their illnesses will dissipate and be reduced, and so then they are able to think clearly, they have mental acuity, and then they produce more because they can work harder, work more be more creative and global economies continue to rise," says Dr. Roberts.
For many Kenyans, clean water means a clean start.