When Water becomes Life…
Emma squinted in the sun as she bent down at the water hole. She plunged her plastic canister into the murky water and watched the air bubbles rise up and pop at the surface of the water. She thought of the long arduous walk back home and wondered if she would make it before sunset. The journey was frightening to say the least. Perhaps, she would be lucky enough to slip through the foliage without running into any animals or strangers this time. Perhaps, she would even be able to go back to school one day…
Emma’s story is not uncommon. There are hundreds of girls and boys like Emma who make long, often dangerous journeys to fetch water. This steals away time from school, the children are unable to catch up and the cycle repeats. As children regress, the community regresses.
Good nutrition and safe drinking water are fundamental to the health and dignity of all. The availability of healthy food and clean water brings better health, hygiene, and sanitation. As a result, the community can flourish, and a reliable source of clean water can allow for the planning of agricultural initiatives. ImpactHope is working in partnership with Vision Ministries Kenya which is a network of 50 growing churches. Most of the families in these churches are extremely poor. We have targeted two areas to improve not only the sustainability of VMK, but also increase the economics of communities.
Water scarcity has become a concern in East Africa and the Maasai region is frequently plagued by droughts. The Maasai have been looking for sources of water for them and their animals. Many Maasai are left with no choice but to walk for miles in search of water, that is often contaminated. This results in water-borne diseases such as amoebiasis, parasitic-diarrhea and typhoid. The Maasai have been in dire need of safe drinking water for their survival as well as that of their livestock.
A Well of Hope
In 2019, ImpactHope committed to drilling a well in the Olkesumet Prayer Response Center. This Maasai community needed to walk for over 20 km to get to the nearest water source. They would retrieve water whenever a tanker truck arrived, and it worked out to be very expensive. The community had been praying for a water source for many years. They were very discouraged when the first attempt of drilling failed. At the second attempt last year, a bountiful supply of clean fresh water was located at a depth of 300m! There is a large quantity of water, and it will impact over 500 people in in a 5 km area. As the project progresses, it could potentially impact 2500 to 3000 people, and this number does not even include livestock. The people are overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude, for this well is a major blessing in their community.
Phase 1 of the project received sufficient funding for the drilling of the borehole, which is now capped. The urgent need was funding to enable the purchase of a Pump, Water Tower, and other equipment. We were blessed by our generous donors right at the time of a crisis!
A severe drought hit the area in December last year, and many livestock were lost. By the grace of God, our partner was able to start off Phase 2 in time! The pump installation was completed successfully and two tanks with a capacity of 2000 liters each, were delivered on the ground. Solar panels were connected, and plans are in motion for pump testing as they continue the work.
We are praying for $26,000 CAD to move this project to Phase 3! This phase will focus on long-term agricultural solutions in the hope that improvements in agricultural productivity will create social and economic ripple effects. This would include fencing, clearing the land, cultivation, procuring seeds, fertilizer, and tools, and building a storage house.
The community has been blessed by your generous contributions!
The livestock are relieved to finally drink water from the new well.
A community member quenches her thirst with the freshly pumped water.
Sustainability is Key
One of ImpactHope’s biggest concerns was the long-term sustainability of projects such as these. It is imperative that such water points are built in consultation with the local community, to ensure that they can maintain it over the next couple of years.
Though the enormous cost is concerning, God has blessed us. Test results after drilling show that the water is drinkable and very clean. The results were extremely positive!
In addition to adequate testing, another requirement is for the stakeholders to have a committee to decide a fee for usage. This money will be reserved for repairs in the future.
The drought dried up not only the water in the community, but also the hopes of those who had lost their animals due to starvation. This project has renewed a new spring of anticipation in the hearts of those who have encountered it. Our partner is talking to community members to collect their views on the borehole work currently going on.
The reception is great, and their expectations are high. The community expects the water to mitigate the region’s draught ordeal. They are grateful that their animals will be able to drink this water and subsequent agriculture projects will provide income-generating opportunities for many!
“When I heard about this new water pump, I decided to attend church for the first time in many years. When I saw the first stream of water pour out, I came to believe that there is a God, a creator who can bring forth water out of a rock.” – A local community member
Pour Out Streams in the Desert
Change starts with people like you, who have generously sowed into this project. We are anticipating that the fruits of our labour will come forth soon for the world to see. We are also planning to drill a second borehole at the Olgulului Church in the Maasai region of Kenya. The overall vision is to increase sustainability within the community and create opportunities for income and growth! If you would like to support this project financially and help us see it to its completion, click here.
“Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy!” – Isaiah 35:1,2a