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Kenya Blog

The Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Expo is an annual exhibition that brings together exhibitors from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. This year's exhibition marked the first time KCP has been a part of the expo, represented by KCP's Marketing Manager, Mr. Stephen Karanja.

Click here to read a newspapaper story of the exhibition, with KCP being highlighted toward the end of the article. Various pictures from the event are also included below.


Andrew Doing Some Explanations at the Kitale Show

Andrew Doing Some Explanations at the Kitale Show


CeraMaji Filters, shown inside the bucket and with the filter alone


Customers Having a Taste of CeraMaji Treated Water at a Supermarket Promotion


Explaining Our Filter to Uganda’s State Minister for Industry and Technology, Hon. Dr. James Mutende


Explaining Our Filter to Hon. Kategaya, Ugandan 1st Deputy Prime Minister, and PS Ambassador Onene at the Kampala Exhibition


Explaining Our Filter to Hon. Munyes, Kenyan Minister for Labour at the Kampala Exhibition


Explaining Our Filter to Rwandese Ambassodor to Uganda, Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambagye During the Kampala Exhibition


Filters at Our Coffee Shop Office Ready to Sell


Filters at the Kitale Show


Filters Being Packed at the Factory for Delivery to Kericho


Having a Word with PS Ambassador Onene, Regarding Making the Filters Available in Uganda


'I'll have some!' Pemanent Secretary Ambassador Onene Showed Great Intrest in Our Filters


Jackline Explaining CeraMaji to Customers at a Supermarket Promotion


Jovial Markerting Manager Stephen Karanja at 2011 Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition in Kampala


Marketing Manager Stephen Karanja Welcoming Kenyan Minister for Labour, Hon. John Munyes During the Kampala Exhibition


Marketing Manager Stephen Karanja Welcoming Ugandan 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC, Hon. Eriya Kategaya at the Kampala Exhibition


KCP Stand at Kitale Show


Rift Valley PC, Transnzoia DC, and Kitale OCPD Visiting Our Stand at the Kitale Show


Rwandese Ambasodor to Uganda, Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambagye Keenly Looking at Our Filter During the Kampala Exhibition


'See how clean the water is?' Rwandese Ambasodor Being Shown the Filter


The Display at the Uganda Exhibition was Small but Created a Big Impact


Welcoming Uganda’s State Minister for Industry and Technology, Hon. Dr. James Mutende at the Kampala Exhibition


Kenya Ceramic Project Updates – October 2011

The Kenya Ceramic Project is a student-led international health initiative aimed at creating access to clean, safe drinking water to areas of rural Kenya through the production of innovative ceramic water filters. The filters produced by the Kenya Ceramic Project are 99.9% effective at eliminating bacteria and other pathogens from local stream water, and are capable of producing clean water for a family of five for up to three years.

The vision of the Kenya Ceramic Project is to achieve a self-sustaining system where ceramic filters are made widely available to all Kenyans at affordable prices with all revenue going toward sustaining production and further expansion. Through all this, our goal is to also invest in local infrastructure and economy by creating jobs and relying solely on local materials for production, as well as local leadership for direction.

Over the past year, the Kenya Ceramic Project has made significant advances toward these goals, which have brought us yet closer to the model of sustainability we have envisioned. On the leadership front, the KCP has added exciting new members to its personnel, which we hope will serve to transition the project into Kenyan hands. Over the summer we promoted a new Production Manager, Sammy Barassa, as well an interim Executive Director, Joshua Machinga. Most notably, our attention has been focused on a region-wide marketing campaign for our ceramic filters and as such we have hired a new Marketing Manager, Stephen Karanja. Stephen comes to the project with a wealth of local experience and training in business and marketing from Elgon University. With this latest addition, the internal leadership structure of the KCP is entirely local, answering to a Board of Directors which comprises Kenyan and Canadian membership. Today, we can see the vision of a Kenyan led organization that incorporates local values and culture starting to take shape.

On the partnerships front, we have seen the KCP grow from a relatively obscure peripheral project to a well-known and reputable name that stands for equality, integrity, and consistency. We have recently solidified a partnership with the Moi University Faculty of Medicine in Eldoret, which has agreed to host our impact assessment and epidemiology research. We have begun a working relationship with the UNICEF Kenya Country Office, which has expressed interest in purchasing our products for disaster relief in Northern and Western Kenya. Nationally, we have begun professional relationships with key players in water sanitation including SWAP (Safe Water and Aids Project) and PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), both of which have purchased mass orders of filters from the KCP for distribution within and outside of Kenya.

On the production and innovation front, the KCP has grown from a manually-run, inefficient operation to a smooth, well-oiled machine. We have recently transitioned to an entirely machine-based production process, with two hydraulic filter presses and formal training for all technicians on factory machinery. This has increased the rate of filter production by more than 50%, and improved efficiency so that we can focus on other areas of production including microbiological testing and quality assurance. In fact, this past year the KCP gained certification from the Kenya Bureau of Standards, after our products were tested in a government laboratory and deemed to meet the national standard for a public health product. This news is very exciting for the KCP, as it means that the filters can now be marketed nation-wide.

Finally, the goal of all of these initiatives is to successfully get the KCP filters into the hands of the people who need them most, and this is where we have experienced our greatest success this year. Over the past several months, we have successfully landed our products in all of the largest supermarkets in the region, including Suam, Transmatt, and Khetias Gigamart, which are stocking the filters not only locally in Kitale, but in other locations across Kenya. Through this, the vision of a locally sustained project that invests in local industry and economy is also taking shape. On a smaller scale, we have experienced success selling the filters at local open air markets and independently owned shops throughout Kitale and other nearby cities and rural centres. Our Marketing Manager and his region-wide marketing campaign have been an instrumental part of this. In fact, since May 2011 we have sold more than 1500 filters to local Kenyans at a price that is not only affordable, but promises to ensure sustainability for the future. For the simple investment of $13CAD, people all over Western Kenya have made the choice to purchase a product which can provide clean water for their families for three years. At the same time, they are contributing to the sustainability of a local organization that now needs rely less and less on foreign support, and has the potential to impact hundreds of thousands of Kenyans all over the country.

The heart of what this success really means can be found in the experiences of our volunteers. This past summer, instead of providing our volunteers with bottled water for their stay, we provided them with a ceramic water filter for each room, and all of them chose to drink local water from a bore hole which was filtered through our ceramic filters. Only then did the true strength of this project become clear. It has taken the world hundreds of years to realize that our water can make us sick: to realize that we had a problem. Today, our water filters are solving this problem: a simple, cheap, efficient pot that can eliminate disease simply by pouring water through it; a product that is being used by thousands of people as we speak. In fact, with the projected impact of 5 persons per filter used, our simple technology is currently affecting the lives of 7,500 Kenyans as you read this article. The vision of the KCP is no longer a vision: it is a reality. Our filter is no longer an idea: it is a real solution that is saving lives today. With the support of people like you, we can continue the momentum that we have started this summer, and persist on the path toward not only sustainability, but a healthier future.



The operation in Kenya has been progressing well over the past several months. After the return of our last operator, Alastair Fraser, we decided to maintain a period without a North American operator, and to leave the running of the project to our local employees.

One of the important additions to the KCP team has been Robert Tewo, our General Manager, who works closely under the CEO, Joshua Machinga. The factory itself is also entirely run by Kenyan employees, including three labourers and a Production Manager.

During the past few months, we have seen some pretty significant landmarks achieved, including a filter factory with a mechanized production process that is entirely in Kenyan hands. We’ve also seen our first batch of filters sold to a local partner, AMPATH, who will test the filters independently and distribute them to local communities.

We were able to distribute a small batch of filters to local women’s groups and families in the Kiminini area before the end of the summer, and have been following up with health surveys and assessment of the educational protocol that we implemented when distributing the filters.

The next frontier for the KCP is the development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing rollout plan. We have very capable minds developing a marketing strategy in Canada, which will soon be implemented on the ground in Kenya by our local workforce. Target customers will include local shop owners, supermarkets, and interested families in the Kitale/Kiminini area.

On the horizon, we are looking toward two major developments. First, the construction of a new factory building which will serve as a temporary storage and sterile testing facility. Second, we hope to send a new team of volunteers in May, led by our upcoming operator Grant Crawford, which will help implement the marketing plan and strive to make the project sustainable, with a steady consumer base and reliable production and testing process.

We’ve come a long way, but there is still much to be done. Look for more exciting updates to come soon!



Great strides were made for the Kenya Ceramic Project (KCP) this past summer as two medical students from the University of Alberta, Subir Sutradhar and Serena Cheung, spent two months in Western Kenya. The team worked closely with Joshua Machinga, local director of a community-based organization named Common Ground for Africa (CGA). The KCP is constructing its new, high-output ceramic filter factory at the CGA site in the village of Kiminini. This site provides great access to necessary resources, major trade centers, and distribution networks. This should translate into the filters being produced, transported, and sold at a very low cost.


The Kenya Ceramic Project has continued to thrive this past winter under the supervision of Patrick McConnell, a U of A business graduate. Patrick has acted as the KCP operator in Kiminini since mid-August, and has had his hands full since arriving. Patrick's goals over the next few months will be to oversee the construction of KCP's high-output factory, and help to streamline production through the hiring of local employees and fine-tuning of the automation process. Despite the work ahead, filter production continues on a daily basis, and Patrick and the team will soon be needing a storage facility for all the prototypes coming of the press!

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