By Daniel Kiptoo Kasis
Our life depends on clean drinking water. For example, a person can survive for up to two months without food but they can’t make it for four days without water. Water is a need that we cannot, as human beings, live without. We’ve been giving this topic a great amount of thought. As a result, we’ve decided to start on a water project. Contaminated drinking water is a worldwide crisis and Kimilili and surrounding areas are not an exemption.
The impact of having safe drinking water
* Lives are saved
* Illnesses are greatly reduced
* Health is dramatically improved
* Economic conditions improve as a result of reduced medical expenses
* Educational opportunities improve
* The focus of the project will be based on two basic sources of water.
Springs are the most common sources of water in the area we plan to focus on. These springs have continued to be the greatest cause of the waterborne diseases, as they are not well maintained. The water from springs needs to be harnessed properly and the spring water flow properly constructed/routed to enable sufficient drainage of water. Also we need to ensure the reservoir is clean and secured from dirt and germs.
A spring before and after it is maintained
The plan is to completely improve the springs that serve the community with water to well constructed springs. The picture above shows an example of a spring that was later constructed into a very nice piped spring that provides clean water.
Secondly, water wells are a steady source of clean water for the community. There are two basic ways of constructing the wells. They can be drilled with machinery, which is expensive. The second method, is to use people to dig the well. This is common in the village and we have specialized local “fundi”, a group of experts, who have actually specialize in digging of the wells and pit latrines.
After the well is dug, a pump is installed to the well. The well can be utilized by the households who live in both near to the well and those residing in the surrounding area. There are several types of pumps that are made locally by the local artisans. Pumps have been devised that can be made from locally available materials. In the future I can provide picture of the pumps that are currently being used by some of the communities.
For now, there is this example of the such a possible pump of well water.
The available resources
The community is very much willing to provide any kind of labor that will be required. The materials that are also needed are locally available and the expertise is available from the government’s water department-the district water officer.We are setting up a work team locally and with our neighbours at Nabuur and will keep you posted on the developments. If anyone is interested in sharing their experience with such projects or has information to give to us, we would be very happy to hear from you.