Nearly 26 million people around the world have been displaced from their homes and live in refugee camps. Whether it’s because of political unrest or natural disasters, refugees arrive in camps with next to nothing and are faced with rebuilding their lives. And while the word “camp” implies a temporary stay, the more likely scenario is that the refugee camp becomes home for twenty years or more.
In 2015, more than 200,000 people fleeing Burundi poured into the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. In order to ramp up and provide a daily supply of water for so many people, the United Nations invited the humanitarian organization Water Mission to develop a temporary solution. Partnering with Kohler, Water Mission rushed to create a system with ten KOHLER® portable generators and eight kilometers of pipe through the camp—all within 17 days.
Today there are still 150,000 people living in the camp trying to reestablish their lives. The pandemic has made this already difficult endeavor even more so. Water Mission and Kohler continue to help, shifting what was a temporary water solution to a permanent one and ensuring access to safe water within 50 meters of every inhabitant of the camp. Two of the large KOHLER-SDMO generators keep the water pumping. Additionally, Water Mission has distributed more than 7,500 handwashing stations globally to-date, empowering communities with additional resources needed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Working with our humanitarian partner organizations in places where water scarcity is an ongoing issue is a crucial part of our commitment to Safe Water for All and one of the key ways that we are believing in better.