News Release

Every Drop of Water Counts

A bore hole at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Service Center, Upper Hill, in Nairobi, provides water for their neighbors.

The Service Center, a facility for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Upper Hill has supplied water to neighbors for 12 years. Their big neighbors, Citibank and Regent Management, have water meters and pay for the water they use. The families that live in the area can fill their jerrycans on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, with no charge. Neighbors place their jerrycans neatly along the curb and a hose is dragged out and at 2:00 pm filling begins at the head of the line.


Before construction of The Service Center, in 2005, a borehole was drilled and water was pumped up the hill which supplies ample water not only for the Center but to the near-by residents in City Center, Nairobi.

“Some days there are more than 200 jerrycans,” said James Kyulu, facility Management from The Service Center. The flats in the neighboring tall apartment buildings were plumbed for water but the faucets are often dry. The water department cannot meet the demand for water, leaving residents without.”


Families can purchase water for Ksh 3 ($0.03 US) per jerrycan from the water company. Or from water selling points—kiosks that offer water for Ksh 20 ($0.20 US). The Church offers the neighbor families free water.

By 1970 the plastic jerrycan hit the market. Steel cans weigh 10 pounds empty, a plastic jerrycan weighs 3.5 pounds and is much cheaper to manufacture. While the German military was the first to use metal cans for fuel, people all over the world can now buy plastic jerrycans for fuel or water for domestic use.

The standard five-gallon jerrycan weighs about 40 pounds when full and is a symbol of the water crisis. Millions of people around the world spend hours each day with one strapped securely on their backs, held tightly to their hips or balanced on top of their heads. The jerrycan is part of their everyday lives, accompanying them on long walks to a water source.


The jerrycan is the keeper of a precious resource people must make the most of each day—many families try to stretch a can of water to last all day. The jerrycan can also be a symbol of hope to change the water crisis.


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.