PART 2 reports about the Kenya Water Wells Programme – building 12 water wells in the Tana River Country of Kenya, providing safe drinking water to the community, who would otherwise have to travel long distances to one of the only 6 shallow water wells in Garsen.
Last year we held our second Ali Asghar Water Appeal (AAWA) Sportive and as a community successfully raised over £100,000 for WF-AID’s flagship appeal to bring life-changing sustainable WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) initiatives to those who are less fortunate than we are and whose only hope is our generosity.
The third and final part in this series will be shared in the coming weeks, concluding the construction of SJ Cycling AAWA 2020 projects.
WF AID would like to express our gratitude to the Stanmore Jafferys for their generous contribution towards supporting our Ali Asghar Water Appeal initiative in Kenya. Their contribution of USD $22,600 funded 12 wells in the Tana River Country of Kenya, providing safe drinking water to the community, who would otherwise have to travel long distances to one of the only 6 shallow water wells in Garsen.
The pictures on this page depict the stagnant unsafe water that the villagers would depend on for drinking. The water wells successfully now provide 840 needy villagers with clean water to drink, cook with, and improve hygiene and sanitation as well as provides water to the scarce and dehydrated farming lands.
Tana River county is located in the coastal area of Kenya. It is among the poorest counties in the country having been historically marginalized. With an estimated populations of 315,000 people, the communities living in the county are predominantly subsistence farmers while others are pastoralists. The county has very low literacy, and high unemployment and poverty rates. Exposed to harsh climatic patterns, they are food insecure and also among the worst hit of Kenya’s 47 counties, whenever natural calamities occur.
With a population of 54 million, 37% of Kenyans still rely on unimproved and unsafe water sources, such as ponds, shallow wells and rivers. Furthermore, 70% of Kenyans use unhygienic and unimproved sanitation solutions. Therefore, our water initiative in Kenya also accounted for water purification chemical distribution to families to combat diarrhoea, cholera and other water borne diseases in Kilifi and Tana River counties.
Beneficiary families who are in desperate need of water are continuously identified though our local volunteers in collaboration with community leaders. Following identification, needs assessment and documentation is done through home visits. Each well that is dug is assigned to a family who serve as the custodians and take up the responsibility of maintaining and cleaning them while always keeping them accessible to other neighbours and members of public. This approach ensures that there is always somebody responsible for every well we dig thereby protecting them from abuse and neglect.
It is estimated that shallow wells in the area have a lifespan of at least 10 – 20 years with minimal maintenance. Heavy duty hand pumps are installed that are acquired from the most reputable company in Kenya in order to ensure durability. Furthermore, our ground team maintains constant communication with the communities and conduct periodic evaluation visits to ensure that our wells remain functional. In the rare event that a well breaks down and the custodians are unable to meet the cost of repair, our team intervenes to ensure that they are restored.
The wells were hand dug in strategic, accessible locations within Tana River county, to provide water to an extremely marginalized community. Each well is assigned to a needy family whose head is referred to as a beneficiary, selected in consultation with the village leadership.
The beneficiary serves as a custodian for the purpose of responsibility, maintenance and cleanliness. Each well shall however be open to access by all community members without discrimination.
Following sufficient digging, each well is cupped and sealed off from the environment to ensure safety and prevent contamination. A heavy-duty durable handpump is installed on each well to provide easy and safe water extraction.
Community members draw water into their personal jerrycans and are educated on cleanliness of their containers as a means to prevent disease and mortality.
The Project Ensures the Following:
- Increased access to safe, and adequate water and sanitation, resulting in reduction of water borne diseases.
- Water availability for drinking and domestic use by households.
- Increased school attendance by children who no longer walk long distances to fetch water.
- Women have more time to undertake other socio-economic activities.
- Increased household income as a result of using water for income generating activities such as farming.
- Afforestation and environmental conservation to decrease droughts.
BENEFICIARIES & COST
This initiative provided 840 needy villagers with access to safe drinking water, as well as providing 7000 beneficiaries with water purification chemical and oral rehydration salts.
This programme provided clean drinking water to 10 families per well, with an average of 7 members per family. Thus, the water wells provided an average 70 beneficiaries per well, and a total of 840 beneficiaries for all 12 wells.
The table below outlines the total expenditure of this project, coming to a total of USD $22,600, equivalent to GBP £16,950.