by Charles Maingi - Communications Manager
World Vision Kenya in collaboration with three other organisations will provide potable water to 11,380 people in a semi-arid area in Makueni District, eastern Kenya.
World Vision Kenya, the Ambassadors Development Agency and the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee have teamed up with the Kisayani Christian Community Development Programme to lay a 53-kilometer pipe and establish eight reservoirs to provide water to the Kisayani community for human and livestock use and also for kitchen gardening.
An estimated 9,000 cubic meters will meet the daily requirements of the members of this community, most of who have been walking up to six kilometers to fetch water. The water will be supplied from 12 metered kiosks located in such a way that families will have a water point at a walking distance of about one kilometer. The current sources of water used by the community often yield inadequate and unsafe water.
Currently, the alternative source of water for members of the community is water kiosks where water is sold at US$ 0.03 for every 20 liters. This price is beyond the reach of most people in this semi-dry area where family incomes are very low. For every good harvest season in Kisayani, there are usually 4-5 seasons of very little or no harvest at all. The result is poverty and frequent famine.
The water will be sourced from the Umani Springs, which are located near Africa's highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro. According to an analysis made by the Ministry of Environment, the quality of the water is acceptable as per WHO standards. To augment its water supply, Kisayani community also intends to embark on roof water harvesting.
To ensure sustainability of the project, community capacity building is already being undertaken. This will enable the community to manage and maintain the systems, collect revenue and continue expending the system so that the walking distance to the water points can be reduced further.
Accomplishments realized so far include gathering of locally-available materials for the construction of a water storage tank and community training in collective responsibility in implementing and managing the water project.
Besides water provision and food security, the project also has a health component. The local community has made bricks for the construction of a dispensary and a food store.