Edinah Samuel awarded the Frederick Mulder Prize

The Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) is proud to spotlight Edinah Samuels, one of the distinguished recipients of the Frederick Mulder Prize, awarded by Linacre College. This accolade, established in 2004 thanks to a generous donation from alumnus Frederick Mulder, supports students who are making significant strides in addressing issues of social injustice through their fieldwork. Samuels, a Mastercard Foundation AfOx Scholar, epitomizes the ethos of this prize through her ground-breaking work aimed at enhancing water safety in rural Kenya.


Samuels' project is driven by a solution-oriented approach to the challenges of operation and maintenance (O&M) in water treatment interventions. Rural communities in Kenya, like many around the globe, face dire challenges in accessing safe drinking water, a fundamental human right that remains elusive for far too many. Edinah's research seeks to unravel the complexities of people's perceptions, beliefs, and choices concerning water treatment technologies.

By employing a methodology that includes focus group discussions, Samuels aims to engage directly with the people most affected by these water safety challenges. This hands-on approach is indicative of her commitment to not just study the problem from afar but to become a part of the communities she aims to help. It's a research strategy that prioritizes empathy and inclusivity, ensuring that the voices of those often left unheard are central to the development of effective solutions.

Edinah's focus on bundling water treatment technologies with professionalized service supply offers a beacon of hope. It's a strategy that recognizes the importance of sustainability and affordability, aiming to reduce the financial strain on already marginalized communities.

Moreover, Samuels' project is poised to serve as a vital networking hub, connecting water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector stakeholders in a collective effort to co-produce interventions. This collaborative spirit is emblematic of the transformative potential of her research. By fostering partnerships between various actors, from local community members to international organizations, Edinah is working towards a future where access to safe drinking water is not a privilege, but a universal reality.

As the AfOx community, we stand in admiration of Edinah Samuels' dedication and innovation. Her work is a testament to the power of research that is deeply rooted in a commitment to social justice and the betterment of human lives. As she embarks on this vital project, supported by the Frederick Mulder Prize, we look forward with anticipation to the positive changes her research will undoubtedly bring.