Written by David Indeje
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Yvonne Chaka Chaka and West Fm's presenter Collins Asiligwa live in the studio when she paid us a visit to talk about her work in Western Province.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka, renowned singer and Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership says it’s been four years since she made Western province her home, “We want people to encourage people to sleep under treated mosquito nets.”
“I have adopted Kakamega, this is my second home, “she reiterates.
Yvonne who is also the Queen of Africa says she is in Kenya and particularly in Kakamega of Western Province because of sanitation and campaign to combat malaria.
“We came here with Verstergaard to encourage people to be sleeping under treated mosquito nets, safe drinking water.”
She says the campaign, formally called the Integrated Prevention Demonstration, was held in Lurambi district from September 16-22, 2008 and she says, “I will be here as long as the residents of Lurambi in Kakamega want us to be.”
Raised in Soweto under South Africa's apartheid regime, Chaka Chaka said she is in her twenty-seven year music career which has produced twenty-one albums, making her one of Africa's top artists.
Chaka Chaka was the first black child to appear on South African television and she has since shared the stage with top stars including Bono and Beyoncé
She expresses her optimism of seeing the project a success. “We want to start a project and see where it ends. So far, everything is good.”
The West Fm chairman Dr. George Masafu meeting with Yvonne Chaka Chaka who is together with Lous Da gama when they toured the West Fm studio in Bungoma.
’Carbon For Water’, a programme launched by Verstergaard in collaboration with the Ministry for Public health seeks to use water filters to purify and treat drinking water in a bid to promote good health among the residents while reducing the use of wood for boiling water thus protecting depletion of trees.
Speaking live in West Fm studio Mr. Mikkel Vestergaard CEO said clean water is a basic right for the people likening it to the explosion of cell phones where the people were empowered with the power to communicate.
The LifeStraw is a personal water purification device designed to turn surface water into drinking water, thus providing access to safe drinking water wherever you are.
The LifeStraw contains a number of filters and a pharmaceutical pouch that cleans the water and treats it chemically. There are no electrical or moving parts and no maintenance is required - simply blow back after use to remove the debris that has been filtered.
During the launch of the programme, Vestergaard said, said the expenses of the filters will be reimbursed through carbon financing and that should the filters develop problems his company will do the repairs free of charge but assured that the filters have a longer life span.
“This funding model gives companies in developed countries potential revenue, in the form of carbon credits, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries,” said Frandsen.
“Carbon credits can then be sold to carbon credit buyers that want to reduce their carbon footprint or improve their environmental stewardship. The revenue generated, in large part, will be re-invested into the program to make it sustainable over a 10-year period,” he added.
Ms Chaka Chaka's campaign against malaria - a preventable and curable disease which still kills over 2,000 children a day in Africa - began when her band member died from the disease in 2004.
Ms Chaka Chaka became the first Goodwill Ambassador for the global Roll Back Malaria Partnership. She is also UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Malaria in Africa, United Nations MDG Envoy for Africa, and was chosen by Nelson Mandela as the first ambassador for his children's fund. Ms Chaka Chaka established her own charity, the Princess of Africa Foundation, and is the recipient of the Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
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