top of page

FAM Grants Evidence Action's | Dispensers for Safe Water

Updated: 3 days ago

Dispensers for Safe Water distributes chlorine dispensers in low-income communities to treat water so that it’s safe to drink.

Dispenser for safe water


Dispensers for Safe Water targets poor rural communities who lack access to safe drinking water, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Children under the age of five are of particular significance, because diarrheal disease is the second-leading cause of death for this age group. Dispensers for Safe Water serves people across rural Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi, where 67%, 55%, and 58.1% of the population, respectively, live below the poverty line on less than USD $1.90 (less than €2,00) per day (Sources: KNBS, UNICEF, IFPRI). For less than $1.50 (~€1,30) per person, per year, Dispensers for Safe Water provides over 4 million people in rural, hard-to-reach communities in Africa with free and reliable access to safe water (~2.2 million in Kenya, ~1.5 million in Uganda, and ~680,000 in Malawi).


This year, our Dispensers for Safe Water program once more provided access to safe water for nearly 5 million individuals across Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi. We estimate that this simple and low-cost innovation has prevented over 2.5 million cases of diarrhea in children and saved over 2,000 young lives to date. The program hit several milestones throughout 2017:

  • In April, we re-examined the evidence and concluded that the program’s evidence base continues to be robust and the program itself highly cost-effective at roughly $1 per person per year.

  • In September, the program was honored during USAID’s Global Innovation Week as a member of the Million Lives Club.

  • In November, GiveWell recognized the program as a Standout Charity, making Evidence Action the first organization to have three programs recognized by GiveWell for their cost-effectiveness.


Thanks to the FAM Grant, the "Dispensers for Safe Water program" will support the network improvement of over 52,000 chlorine dispensers stretches across rural communities in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, in areas that aren’t reached by municipal systems.

After 6 months of the project Dispensers for Safe Water achieved the following results:

  • Completed significant expansion of our dispensers footprint with the installation of 24,000+ new dispensers in Uganda and Malawi. In just 18 months, we installed 12,161 dispensers across 11 districts in Uganda, and 12,222 dispensers across 7 districts in Malawi.

  • Continued our ongoing local “promoter” engagement and training in each community that has a dispenser installed.

  • Continued to monitor and evaluate the program regularly, focusing on collecting a small set of actionable data. An example: Our team measures adoption monthly by visiting a sample of households to test their water for chlorine.



The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The "Dispensers for Safe Water" project mostly contributes to the targets of SDG 6 and SDG 3 by providing safe, affordable drinking water and improving water quality in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. This effort reduces waterborne diseases, enhances public health, and lowers child mortality rates, particularly for children under five. Additionally, it engages local communities in sustainable water and sanitation management, contributing to the long-term sustainability of water resources and overall well-being.


14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page