Funded by Ryan's Well Foundation, The Samburu Project drilled and installed a shallow well equipped with a handpump in this community.

Narrative

Women formerly had to walk from 6am to 12pm! Now the well is less than 10 minutes away.

    • Third Party
    Darren Van Soye About 4 Years after completion 17 Oct, 2012

    Visit by TrekkingthePlanet.net

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    1. 1000 people use well.
    2. Well is fully functional.
    3. However, floods have eroded the sides of this well, undercutting the slab. The drainage duct down to the river is broken.
    4. Saw that wood was placed where the duct use to start. Believe that this was done so animals could drink.
    5. Saw young women and boys using the well.

    Lucas Lekwale ( The Samburu Project ) Almost 4 Years after completion 5 Jul, 2012

    July Visit

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    Routine Visit. Well is in good working condition.

    Stephanie Ng ( The Samburu Project ) Almost 4 Years after completion 16 May, 2012

    Stephanie Ng's Visit- May 2012

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    As we pulled up to Lbaa Onyokie 1 Well (D3W9), Lucas revealed that this was one of the wells where all the hardware (pipes, rods, rubbers, hand pump) were removed by another organization called ACTED at the end of last year.

    Early in January of this year, Kristen received an alarming report from Lucas and Juma that two of our wells had been meddled with a couple weeks prior. These people, who were not Samburu, came on a Thursday which is the big market day in Samburu East District. Everybody from all the communities go either to town or to the livestock market. Now that women no longer have to spend their entire day looking for water, they now have time and energy to go to the market (it takes them 2 to 3 hours to travel one way from their homes to the market) and trade their livestock or sell their bead work in order to earn money to buy food or other necessary items for their family. As a result, there are no adults at the well during midday Thursday. During this time, these people came and took all of the hardware and left the well broken and completely unusable. There were a few children nearby that spotted the big blue car and witnessed the incident. When the community found out later that afternoon what had happened, they frantically sent someone to inform Lucas or Paul about the dire situation.

    After some investigation, Lucas found out that these people were from the organization called ACTED. ACTED had recently expanded their operations to Samburu and had been surveying the area. They must have come across several of our wells but when they stopped by this particular well, they found Lbaa Onyokie 1 not pumping at the optimal flow. At that time, Paul had been working on this well and was finishing up the repairs. Therefore, whereas Lucas and Paul were fully aware of the situation and were working hard to remedy the problem, the ACTED team probably saw this well as having been abandoned and in need of being “rescued”. Unfortunately they did no such thing. The well was left disassembled and inoperable for several months. Moreover as far as I know, ACTED did not communicate with the well community and let them know what their goals were or their timeline for “fixing” this well. Imagine how the communities must have felt to have this precious resource given to them only to be taken away for an indefinite time. Regrettably, ACTED’s actions did not benefit the community- instead it left the community without water and made them distrust outsiders.

    Lucas worked tirelessly to get to the bottom of this and after a series of meetings with the ACTED personnel was able to get them to return the parts and flush out the well of any contaminates that may have fallen through the pipe during those months that the well was left exposed. Before my visit, the well was in working condition again and Lucas had personally visited the site to see for himself.

    Which brings us back to my visit on Wednesday May 16. This well is encircled by chain link fencing at least six feet tall and there was a padlocked gate in the front that was locked, preventing anyone from entering into the well area. On the one hand, the gate was very impressive and is probably what Kristen envisions for every well. As part of our agreement with the well committee during the mobilization phase, the community is responsible for putting up a fence around the well in order to protect it from any destruction or contamination. In particular, the fence serves to keep the livestock from trampling on the slab foundation and potentially contaminating the well. Needless to say, this fence at Lbaa Onyokie 1 Well is a superb fence. The brick red metal gate in the front extends slightly higher than the fence and in theory should keep the livestock out while allowing easy entrance for people wishing to use the well. What shocked me however, was the fact that it was locked when we came, thereby preventing anyone from entering into the well area. Though Lucas has been in frequent communication with this community, this was the first time that he saw the gate and fence and he too was taken aback and disturbed that it was locked. He immediately had one of the boys that was looking at me inquisitively to summon the elders in the community and to get the key to unlock the gate.

    Soon after, Mr. Lentoijoni joined us and was very gracious to tell the story again for my benefit. He informed us that the gate and padlock was given to them by ACTED in order to prevent the well from being vandalized again by outsiders. At this point, even Mr. Lentoijoni could recognize the frustration in my voice and I had Lucas clarify several times- did ACTED provide this gate to the community to prevent people such as themselves to tamper with the well? The answer was yes. The community had a meeting and agreed to keep the fence up and have the gate locked at night because they did not want it to be vandalized by outsiders; they were not worried about it being tampered by other Samburu communities, only by foreigners. As for the daytime, the gate is usually kept unlocked. Mr. Loikurani, one of the men from the community (the one wearing the hat in the picture), is in charge of keeping the key and he sits next to the well during the day keeping an eye on it. When he has to be away from the well during the day, he locks up the gate. When we arrived, Mr. Loikurani had gone back to his home for lunch and that was why it was locked. However, everyone in the community knows that Mr. Loikurani has possession of the key and if the gate is locked when they want to use it, they know where to find him.

    They will not let anyone that is not Samburu do anything to this well. If I had not come with Lucas, they would not have allowed me to change anything about the well and would have kept a very close eye on me. Mr. Lentoijoni was adamant in saying that they would not let anyone but Paul, Reuben or Juma come and do anything to this well from now on.

    Another elder named Mr. Lemedoro conveyed his sentiments by telling a Samburu proverb: “Now we have really differentiated an eye of a cow and an eye of a buffalo.” Lucas explained to me that cows are very valued in this community. More than just a source of food and income for these people, cows represent hope for a better future. Buffalo on the other hand are deadly- they roam around and destroy everything in their way. In a similar way, the community likens us to a cow and have associated ACTED with the destruction that buffalo bring about.

    Mr. Lentoijoni ended by expressing his personal appreciation and gratefulness to The Samburu Project because according to him, without The Samburu Project, this well probably would not have been fixed. He views us as dear friends and appreciates our regular visits. As we were about to leave, all the elders began saying a blessing for us and praying over us; Lucas told me that they were blessing our work and asking God to go before us.

    Now that the situation is behind us, I truly hope that, for the sake of the community and also for the sake of their standing with the Samburu people, ACTED will write a formal apology to both communities and the district. Though I am glad that the community will not let something like this happen again, it pains me to see their distrust in people outside of their community which came as a result of this unfortunate event.

    Ultimately it was not The Samburu Project that was harmed but rather the community. Though the gate and padlock is a nice gesture on behalf of ACTED, what the community needs is for ACTED to admit their wrongdoings, show remorse for making this community suffer for several months, and to ask forgiveness. No matter how big the organization is or how much power it may have, at the end of the day every non-profit organization should be accountable to the people and work to serve them to the best of their ability.

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    • peer
    John Nyagwencha ( Aqua Clara International ) About 3 Years after completion 31 Aug, 2011

    Conference visit

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    The project is doing quite well. It was nice to see that the community has put up a school nearby. One of the women said that they used to spend more than half a day just looking for water, now they are spending more time with their families. These boreholes are truly giving more than water, they are giving life!

    Heidi Sheppard ( The Samburu Project ) Over 2 Years after completion 24 Feb, 2011

    Kristen Kosinski's Visit - February 2011

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    On her visit Kristen met with a variety of community members, including elders, children and the chairwoman of the community's women's group. Below is the information she gathered on this visit:
    -Gate and fencing are gone, but the gate is safely at a community member's home
    -Community has built a traditional fence to replace the stolen one
    -They are incredibly grateful for their water. They have never seen water as pure as that which the well provides for them
    -Estimated 500+ people benefiting
    -Many children are attending school now
    -Pump is moving a bit, but the head is loose - it will need to be replaced soon

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    Heidi Sheppard ( The Samburu Project ) Almost 2 Years after completion 28 Jun, 2010

    Sarah Ball's and Ashley Cook's Visit - June 2010

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    Notes from Lbaa Onyokie Well:
    -Need a more permanent fence
    -One break (June 2009): The steel rods and rubbers broke - received replacements from Lucas.
    -The well was shared by 2 communities and there was some confrontation regarding operation. Now, the other community has a well which resolves the conflict.
    -Fence was stolen and gate broken.
    -Community says that, because the chain link and other things had been stolen, they knew that the gate would also be stolen so they removed it. Now they use traditional fencing.
    -According the the Lbaa community, the well is much easier than scooping soil

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  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 15 Aug, 2008 Implementation Phase
  • Implementation Phase Project started on 1 Aug, 2008 Preparation Phase

Funded by Ryan's Well Foundation, The Samburu Project drilled and installed a shallow well equipped with a handpump in this community.

Narrative

Women formerly had to walk from 6am to 12pm! Now the well is less than 10 minutes away.

Sustainability

Creating and measuring long-term impact

The community agrees by contract to pay for maintenance costs. Each well committee collects approximately $250 per year for this purpose. In order to ensure well functionality and monitor its use, The Samburu Project spends approximately $160 per year per well. This comes from our general fund, which is maintained by individual donations.

Impact

People Impacted: 700

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 700

The main objective of the project is to provide clean, safe drinking water.

People Getting Sanitation: 700

Improved sanitation has been an ancillary benefit of community water availability.

People Getting Other Benefits: 700

The well has made the community much more resistant to drought. Instead of watching their livestock die from lack of access to water, community members can water their animals at the well in times of drought. Instead of having to make long journies, women now have time to go the market, tend to livestock and do domestic chores such as building houses.

Maintenance/Operating Costs Annual, in US$: $410

Creating and measuring long-term impact

The community agrees by contract to pay for maintenance costs. Each well committee collects approximately $250 per year for this purpose. In order to ensure well functionality and monitor its use, The Samburu Project spends approximately $160 per year per well. This comes from our general fund, which is maintained by individual donations.

Funding

Funded:
$12,500
Community:
$1,850
Final Cost:
$14,350
$13,000:
Anonymous

Plan/Proposal