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Davis & Shirtliff featured in Business monthly as Top 25 Corporations and Organisations Leading in Social Responsibility in 2023
March 12, 2023

Looking back at 2022, it is striking how much the world is enduring. 45 million people in 43 nations globally continue to face the risk of starvation. Extreme weather conditions are more common as global temperatures soar, with the Horn of Africa experiencing an unprecedented drought: the worst in over 40 years. What’s more, 1 in 10 people on earth lack access to clean water.

Davis & Shirtliff is heavily invested in developing appropriate technologies with a focus on renewable energy that can provide affordable and enduring solutions to improve sustainable access to clean water. This leader in water and energy solutions has committed to make a substantial contribution to alleviate the drought crisis that is ravaging Africa.

Although some progress on the provision of water has been achieved in Kenya, a staggering 19 million people lack access to at least safe drinking water. Sustainable management of water resources and access to safe water and sanitation, corresponding to the United Nations 6th Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG #6), are essential for unlocking economic growth and productivity, and providing leverage for existing investments in health and education.
Since its inception in 2018, the Davis & Shirtliff Improving Lives initiative has focused primarily on life-changing projects that increase access to water using sustainable renewable energy. The initiative has also undertaken water treatment projects, ensuring that communities not only have access to water, but to clean water that is safe for consumption.

In line with SDG #7, Affordable and Clean Energy, the initiative works with institutions to increase access to renewable energy by installing solar powered lighting systems in public schools, other children’s institutions and extends this to other marginalised populations. Through the initiative, Davis & Shirtliff is focused on providing access to safe water that can transform communities, contributing to improved health (SDG #3) and education (SDG #4), and creating opportunities for revenue generating activities.

Founded in 1946 in Kenya, Davis & Shirtliff is dedicated to protecting the environment and mitigating against any adverse environmental impact from its activities. With a focus on community welfare, the group is devoted to improving the lives of disadvantaged peoples by harnessing resources to deliver a better and sustainable environment; partnering with like-minded organisations, and helping solve some of the most pressing community challenges.

In its 2022 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, the firm reported that its projects for the year had resulted in a massive carbon footprint reduction, an achievement the company celebrates with pride. Davis & Shirtliff solar installations have been a great success, using its Dayliff solar pumping kits to replace manually operated and inherently unreliable handpumps.

In 2018 through the Improving Lives Programme, 64 projects were completed. This benefited close to 50,000 people, a number that grew in 2019 to 91 projects completed, improving close to 94,000 lives. At the end of 2020, and at the height of COVID-19, the programme ramped up its activities, completing 140 projects, impacting close to 500,000 lives. 2021 and 2022 were equally busy years, with 143 and 107 projects being completed respectively. This brings the total number of completed projects to 545 as at the end of 2022, with over one million lives impacted.

The social effects of these completed projects sponsored by Davis & Shirtliff include: improved school attendance leading to better grades during national examinations, improved health as a result of less water-borne diseases and increased economic productivity as a result of less time spent walking long distances in search of water.

Another example is in Marsabit County where the Improving Lives initiative has increased access to water for Barambate Community in North Horr, a region where drought has devastated communities and livelihoods. The community now has access to running water, purified by a Dayliff reverse osmosis system that runs on solar power, therefore ensuring operational longevity and zero running costs.

Looking ahead to 2023, the initiative is committed to working with the government-led Pamoja Project to rehabilitate boreholes in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) counties of Kenya. The initiative will also ramp up its community irrigation efforts to tackle the rising cases of food insecurity in the region.

All in all, Davis & Shirtliff recognises that if the world is to prevail over the looming global water crisis, it will require great innovation and commitment from the private and public sectors alike, and from both the developing and the developed world. Davis & Shirtliff is rightfully playing its part through the Improving Lives social responsibility initiative. As Featured in Business Monthly