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SWIMO - Targeted solutions around the River communities

Swimming is an activity that ensures healthy child development for communities living near rivers, diverted swimming areas provide kids with safer spaces to learn how to swim and indulge in play.

Photo of wekesa zab
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How it works 
Swimo is a set of activities that ensures safe and resilient communities by creating designated - "diverted swimming/play areas" along the riverbanks offering kids under five with cleaner safer spaces to learn how to swim and play with water for communities living near rivers. 
 Swimo works with communities and invites older kids , gurus and parents to volunteer for pool clean ups, teach smaller kids, participate in tournaments where they get recognized/ win awards, full time swimming instructor jobs, fishing pond experts in advanced stages. 
By seeking partnerships with local and international conservancy groups, tourism organisations, local government and fisheries, we might be able to work out possible revenue models for sustainability and deeper impact.
Why it matters
Kids under five living in this regions neighboring rivers are often vulnerable to environmental factors that come with location like riverflooding , diseases from dirty and nutrition to drowning in river water.
"It is hard to seperate water people from the river" .. They learn from the river, eat from the river and drink from the river ( ecosystem services) .   Michael Tomasello in the origins of human cognition talks of ontogenetics :  As human children growup in socially and historically constructed artifacts and traditions they are enabled to, benefit from accumulated knowledge and skills of their social set, aquire and use per-spectivally based cognitive represantations in the form of ligustic symbols and  internalize certain types of discourse interactions into skills to metacognition, representational, re-descriptive and dialogic thinking. Unfortunatly for these communities/social sets river  water aint getting any cleaner, fish are growing less popular more so, they are still deeply rooted in the ways of their land.
 One commonality that this community share is the river and using it as a space to explore/visit the "poverty consevation equation" and educate the surrounding communities on ways to care for their now diminishing natural resources might be plus. 
Making a difference 
These almost natural adopted swiming pools and play / learning areas along the river provides kids, parents and community member with safer swimming areas and spaces to reconnect them to their heritage by reminising the river activities, learning about medicinal trees and fruit trees that grow along the river . 
Cleaner water,  swimming classes for kids,  tornaments for competitive kids and jobs for the gurus 

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Communities leaving near and close to rivers.. Am looking at the lake Victoria basin .. Most khalaba stream in Bungoma county .. Targeting 100 households with kids below five to benefit for a plot ..

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Find out what is happening in the around these rivers now. Pool tournaments with existing resources. Provide safer "air 'temporary swimming areas and see the feedback for kids below five. 'We also inquire from them why river fishing not common as they used to be? " ( if it makes sense ;)..) Find out the level of available talent and give submit a proposal to local authorities of finding and request on a way forward.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

I need help in design and landscaping for this play environments. Knowledge on how best water can be diverted from rivers in the most sustainable way on a management scale. planners with community engagement knowledge.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Robert Eikelboom

Hi Wekesa,
The attractiveness of the river is that it is close by for people living near to the river. Obvious. How far away or close by would these 'spots' be? And in a 100-mile river how many spots will there be?

These are important questions if you ask people to change behavior.

I want to swim now and I go to the river.

I want to swim now, but we need to plan to go to the designated spot that is further away.

A safer swimming place is a good thing that does not need Michael Tomasello's thoughts. It is all about how do you make it available and at what cost? Safer sells it self, if it is just as easy available for the same 'price'.

Good luck,

Photo of wekesa zab

Thanks Robert,
It is certainly true the concerns you have raised and a plus is you have given me some questions for the communities.
Am incorporating them into the set of questions for the community.

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