14th Dec, 2017

Local charity to take over UK airwaves from slums of Kenya

Andy Morris 6th Dec, 2017

WORKERS from a Rugby borough charity are travelling to the slums of Kenya with a national radio presenter to record a landmark outside broadcast.

Andrew Heath and Elizabeth Dunn from international development agency Practical Action, based in Bourton-on-Dunsmore, are helping Absolute Radio presenter Pete Donaldson to record the station’s first ever programme focusing on development issues.

They travel out tomorrow (Thursday December 7) as part of the charity’s new ‘A Safe Pair of Hands’ campaign, which addresses malnutrition among children in the slums in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya.

The radio crew will experience life-changing work in slums and discover why young children die every day from dirty water and lack of basics such as taps, water pipes and handwashing basins. They will also see how clever, simple measures can change everything.

Practical Action’s director of marketing Rachel Hudson said: “Lack of access to clean water and toilets in Kisumu mean that most children growing up suffer multiple bouts of diarrhoea. It has only recently been discovered that the body is permanently damaged by multiple bouts of diarrhoea in childhood and it can leave people unable to absorb nutrients required for growth.

“If a child cannot absorb nutrients, they suffer stunted growth, are unable to study well and unable to work effectively in later life. Ultimately, poor sanitation leads to poor job prospects and reinforces a cycle of poverty.

“As with most of our work, the solution is very simple. In this case, we are building better toilets, rebuilding water pipes, putting in more taps and creating a culture of better handwashing practices.

“We are working with local health organisations in schools, nurseries, clinics and by going door-to-door to teach people the importance of good handwashing.”

Practical Action’s new ‘A Safe Pair of Hands’ campaign addresses malnutrition among children in the slums in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya. (s)

Pete and the team will work with a local radio station in Kisumu to record a broadcast to be played back on Absolute Radio and help raise funds for the project – with every donation made being matched pound for pound by the UK Government.

Pete said: “This broadcast will break new ground for Absolute Radio. It is the first time the station will broadcast from an environment like the slums in Kisumu and the first time we have spoken to our listeners about these issues.

“I have long been interested in the underlying issues that cause poverty and finding solutions to them. I expect it to be a shocking experience, but I am looking forward to seeing the transformative effect that Practical Action has on the lives of people in Kisumu.”

The broadcast will be aired on Absolute Radio in the UK on Monday December 18, as well as local Kisumu radio station Urban FM.

Practical Action has been based in Warwickshire since 1984 and employs around 100 staff at its Bourton-on-Dunsmore offices.

Visit www.practicalaction.org to find out more or make a donation.

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