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Latest News: Kathungu Commissioning

Commissioning of the Kathungu shallow well, Makueni county, Kenya. Source: KRA

In February 2011, Patty Hall, the President and Co-Founder of  US schools water charity H2O for Life, came to Kenya to commission the Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) Kathungu Women’s Water project. With support from H2O for Life, KRA have implemented a project to improve a sand dam near Kathungu Primary School.

 

 

Project Components

The sand dam improvement has involved the construction of a shallow well with hand pump, and two cattle troughs (with fencing) to improve the levels and quality of water and separate the water sources so that the water in the natural pools downstream from the sand dam are not being contaminated by livestock drinking from the same water. A one-foot high weir was also constructed to raise the water level the natural dam pools, plus fencing round these pools. The result is a clean and easily accessible water source which now has no risk of contamination.

H2O for Life

H2O for Life is a non-profit organisation designed to create partnerships between schools in the USA and schools in developing countries. Their goal is to partner an individual school in the USA with a school in a developing country that lacks water, sanitation, and hygiene. Through service learning projects and awareness-raising events in the US, the schools raise funds. This project moved away from this traditional model, as it involved a women’s group as the focus, rather than a school. However, the school is located very close to the dam so will greatly benefit from the clean water access.

Project Impacts

  • Increased and improved access to a sustainable water supply for community members and livestock.
  • Easy access to clean water through the safe water abstraction point.
  • Protection and division of valuable water sources to prevent contamination from livestock.
  • Improved food security as a result of water to assist with growing vegetables.
  • Improved school attendance and mean scores due to less time spent collecting water.

Commissioning

The commissioning was a great success and the children were presented  with H2O for Life stickers and badges as a celebration of the event.  Speeches were made to thank KRA and H2O for Life and to comment on the  success of the water structures. One of the village elders, Mr. Musila  Yumbya, said: ”I think our place is the driest in the world and our  greatest problem is water. We are all moving in one direction now –  finding ways in which we can get enough water.” Patty Hall praised the success of the project and looked to the future: “I  am honoured that you put my name on your well and I hope it gives you  water for years to come. We are very happy working with KRA and we are  already talking about getting latrines for the girls at the school.”

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