Influencing the Experts
Influencing the Experts
The purpose of the project involving Hydration Technology Innovations (HTI), the Kenya Water for Health Organization (KWAHO) Eastman and Modern Edge was to validate the use of the HydroPack™ in a disaster relief situation.
Response to the HydroPack™ by the 90 Mudimbia households participating in the project was so positive that the biggest problem was running out of the 30,000 HydroPacks™ before the project was over.
In the end, some 3,200 HydroPacks™ were left behind for villagers to use when the next flood occurs. That could happen as soon as April when the rains come again.
Plans are under way to provide more HydroPacks™ so they are readily available when the villagers need it.
At a ceremony where HTI and Eastman handed over the remaining HydroPacks™, the village chief, John Kudombi, expressed gratitude for being selected the site of the project.
“We are proud to be part of this important technology,” Chief John said. “It’s a technology that can help prevent the diseases caused by contaminated water.”
Chief John used the closing ceremony to announce that Austen Angell of Modern Edge now has a nephew in the village. One of the women participating in the design research conducted by Austen and colleague, Joel Newman, gave birth to a boy one week into the project.
So there will be a little boy named Austen growing up in Mudimbia. His future may well depend on the HydroPack™ and the research done by his Uncle Austen.
What distinguishes this project from others is the design research by Modern Edge. Angell and Newman did in-depth interviews with 11 households in Mudimbia plus interviews in the Lake Turkana region of Northern Kenya...
The Turkana live a nomadic lifestyle and must cope with drought conditions that make the quest for food and water a daily challenge...
Water is a global problem. No single solution is going to solve the problem. It will require a combination of solutions and clearly the HydroPack™ should be one of them.
And as demonstrated by HTI, KWAHO, Eastman and Modern Edge, it will take companies and organizations with expertise in different areas to come up with the best solutions. Most of all, the global water challenge requires listening to the people most affected by contaminated water.
“You can’t influence others unless you’re willing to be influenced yourself,” Angell says.
The villagers of Mudimbia influenced everybody associated with the HydroPack™ project. And that’s the beauty of this project. The experts wound up being influenced every bit as much as the villagers.