SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR 20,000
It costs only £20 to provide one more person with safe drinking water for 10 years!
As part of our community transformation programme, we are working to provide safe drinking water to over 20,000 people in the Itinyi Valley and surrounding area. Nestled between the two Tsavo National Parks, this community has been trapped in a cycle of poverty over generations.
During the rainy season these communities fetch water from man-made water holes, which they share with wild animals and so is unsafe to drink. Once the rainy season is over, this water source dries up and the struggle for survival intensifies for these families. The region only has an annual rainfall of around 466mm.
The Kasigau Corridor is an 80,000 square mile stretch of land – situated between the two Tsavo National Parks and home to 100,000 people, who are destitute. During the short rainy season, the people lack basic resources such as rain water catchment on their roofs to collect water, or tanks to retain it there until the next downfall.
Not only is there a short rainy season, there is very little ground water and not many productive wells which makes water very scarce in the region. Therefore a multi-pronged approach is needed. In the Kasigau region, rock water catchments are the most effective way of harvesting and storing large volumes of safe drinking water during the rainy season.
Over the next 5 years, our aim in the Tsavo Project is to develop a highly impactful holistic model of community transformation in one of Kenya’s driest regions, initially within a community of 14,000 in the Itinyi Valley, rolling out to the families in the surrounding area.
In the rainy season, water is sourced from open catchment areas which are open to the elements and wild animals. The same water hole where clothes are washed, provides water to drink, along with the danger of disease.
As the raining season ends, the water dries up and women and children then have to walk 10-15k every day to reach their nearest water source. The burden on the women is tremendous with 5-6 hours needed to gather water for essential daily needs. During the dry season, children spend less time in school as they are helping their mothers collect water.
Any boreholes have yielded water high in minerals and are unsuitable for human consumption without highly sophisticated purification systems. Rock water catchments are one of the most effective ways of harvesting and storing large volumes of safe drinking water during the rainy season. Each rock catchment dam is built to last at least 20 – 25 years and is maintained by the local people. We are researching the possibility of also building deep underground storage tanks to hold excess water for the dry season.
Solving the problem in this area will therefore require a multi-pronged approach. Here are some ways of providing access to water all year round:
- Rock water catchments on all the nearby hills
- Rainwater collection and storages systems for schools, community buildings and family homes
- Large fenced in water pans throughout the valley
- Water kiosks joined to the Mzima Springs water pipeline that runs through the valley
These solutions are designed for long term impact and transform people’s lives.