Many of our friends and supporters will remember Ceramaji (formerly the Kenya Ceramic Project) as ICChange’s oldest and longest running international health initiative. Since its inception in 2007, the goal of the project has been to provide affordable and dependable clean drinking water to families in need by producing and distributing household ceramic water filters to both rural and urban communities. Between 2010 and 2015, Ceramaji impacted the lives of over 100,000 people, and our filters became a common household name in western Kenya, easily recognizable in supermarkets, pharmacies and various distribution centers around the country. In August 2015, faced with the pressures of ever-increasing demand and the need for more efficient production and distribution strategies, we said goodbye to our factory home in Kiminini and began the process of planning a new high-output filter factory in the greater-Nairobi area.
After an 18 month transition phase, during which Ceramji filters continued to be sold across the country from our stockpiled inventory, our vision for a new factory home is finally coming to fruition. This February, ICChange team members spent time in Kenya surveying a plot of land in the Kitengela area (approximately 30km southeast of Nairobi), which we anticipate will serve as the new factory site. The team worked with the local landowners, government authorities and a real estate lawyer to develop a lease agreement that is now in the final stages of negotiation.
ICChange hopes to begin construction of the new factory structure in spring/summer 2017. The first step in this process will involve moving the old equipment, materials and tools salvaged from the Kiminini factory from the Kenya Red Cross warehouse where it is currently being stored, to the Kitengela land site. Much of the physical infrastructure of the old factory was reclaimed during the teardown in August 2015 and will be repurposed for use in the new factory structure.
During construction, ICChange will also look to recruit a new labor and management team for the factory. Several of our previous employees and partners have stayed with the company and will be instrumental in engaging and training the new team members, who will be new to the ICChange and Ceramaji family. Finally, filter production will restart in late 2017/early 2018!
The past successes of Ceramaji and its bright and visionary future are a testament to the hard work and perseverance of all who have devoted their time, energy and resources to the project over the years. We wish to extend a sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who have supported us these past 10 years and hope that you will continue to do so in this new and exciting phase. The road ahead still holds many challenges that will need to be overcome, but with your help we are confident that we can continue to reach incredible new heights!
Let’s make clean drinking water for all a reality!
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