March 22nd is World Water Day and this year the international focus is on groundwater. This is a precious resource whose importance is increasing as the impacts of climate change become more significant. We feel this acutely in TBI Ileret where groundwater is critical to our operations.
In 2021, we were able to decarbonize our water infrastructure, installing solar borehole pumping and solar reverse osmosis through support from the Water and Energy for Food programme. The new Osmosun reverse osmosis system is the only one of its kind in Kenya.
Access to water in Ileret is extremely constrained, the vast majority of all groundwater is brackish, often with dangerously high levels of fluoride. Surface water is scarce and is vulnerable to biological contamination, especially now when the landscape is littered with carcasses of dead livestock which perished in the ongoing drought.
In order to combat this, we are working on innovation and implementation of novel water management and purification systems. Developing new solutions with academic partners and fostering improved access to reliable water in partnership with local government and stakeholders. As an immediate, temporary measure to mitigate the impact of the recent drought, TBI has begun a water distribution program that will provide 35,000 liters of treated water per week to the local community in Ileret.