DAI Board Members Engage with Partners and Projects in Nairobi, Kenya

May 11, 2017

Members of DAI’s Board visited project sites in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday as part of their quarterly meeting, which they seek to hold once per year in a country where DAI works.

The visits—led by DAI’s Mark Rostal and Sarah Helmstadter, and DAI Board Chair Betsey Nelson—featured briefings by project managers, partners, and beneficiaries.

DAI-News----DAI-Board-Nairobi-2.jpg DAI Board members and others visiting the Geoseismic Water Company in Nairobi, Kenya.

The group first visited the Geoseismic Water Company, one of 110 private enterprises receiving assistance under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project (KIWASH). They then traveled to the Kangemi shantytown and visited a community center that hosts victimized and vulnerable young women and men under USAID’s Kenya NiWetu program.

During Wednesday’s visit, Kenneth Marangu—owner of the Geoseismic Water Company, also known as Ken’s Borehole—spoke of how he started the borehole five years ago, and of how surrounding property values have increased as water has become more accessible. The KIWASH team is assisting Marangu to improve water efficiency, extend his pipelines, and grow the company’s network from 1,000 to 3,000 metered customers.

DAI-News----DAI-Board-nairobi-1.jpg DAI Board members and others engage in questions and answers at the community center in Kangemi, Nairobi, Kenya.

At Kangemi, home to approximately 250,000 people, Board members met with clients of the community center who described their vulnerability to crime and to being recruited for crime, given their poverty and their need to provide for family members, in some cases siblings in parentless households. Board members expressed their appreciation of the young men’s candor as they shared tea.

On Tuesday, Nelson and fellow Board members Dan Heaney, Marwan Juma, Maria Otero, and Gail Steinel joined with DAI’s Global Executive Team to receive briefings from managers in DAI’s Kenya-based portfolio, which includes national projects, regional projects, and projects working in neighboring Somalia—for clients including USAID, the World Bank, the U.K. Department for International Development, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

DAI-News----Board-in-Nairobi-3.jpg DAI Board members and staff with Chief Rose, center, at the Kangemi community center in Nairobi, Kenya.

That evening, DAI hosted a dinner and discussion focused on Kenya’s development challenges. Guests included Michael Mithika, founder of the JM Mantle financial services consultancy; Sam Kona, former DAI employee and chair of the Kenya Voluntary Development Association; Carol Ngege of the Joyful Women microfinance organization; and Zohra Baraka, founder of Mahazo Ex Imo Ltd. and chair of the Africa Women’s Enterprise Program. Speakers included Ezra Chiloba, CEO of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, and Dr. Julius Muia, Director General of Kenya’s Vision Delivery Secretariat.

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