Funded by Ryan's Well Foundation, The Samburu Project will drill and install a shallow well equipped with a handpump in the Upper Margwe community.

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Narrative

This community was chosen because children, especially girls, do not attend school because they spend most of their time looking for water. The population is also very high. On average, people walk 6 km each way in search of water.

The community expects to benefit in a number of ways: women will have time to participate in income-generating activities, children will attend/have time to go to school, and they will have clean, safe drinking water.

The community anticipates using the well for the following purposes: to enhance their livelihoods through farming, to use water for domestic and livestock purposes, and the establishment of a community meeting point where elders will meet to pass key resolutions of the community.

Five sites were surveyed before finding a viable site.

    Kristen Kosinski ( The Samburu Project ) Over 1 Year after completion 14 May, 2013

    The Face of Water

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    Lucas visited Priscilla and her family in the Upper Margwe community today. Drop by Drop Photo's Rudi Dundas sent pictures to Lucas that were taken of Priscilla and other members of the Upper Margwe community in 2011 when their well was drilled and installed. Water is flowing and all is well in this community...

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    Stephanie Ng ( The Samburu Project ) 8 Months after completion 12 May, 2012

    Stephanie Ng's Visit- May 2012

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    The first well that we visited on my trip was Upper Margwe Well (D5W1) funded by Ryan’s Well Foundation. Even when we were still quite a distance away from the well, we were approached by Priscilla Lenkonyokie. You might recognize her from the Face of Water: An Exhibition of Photography. She is the lady in the signature image! As we came closer, Lucas immediately noticed that she was beginning to tear up and cry. He later told me that she always cries when she sees him- not only was she close to Lucas’ late mom but she was one of the first women that Kristen met when she began working with the Samburu people and I know that Priscilla is very grateful to both Lucas and Kristen for all they have done to better her life and the lives of everyone in her community. We then gave her a Face of Water shirt and also an 8″x10″ of the signature image and you could tell that she was even more moved; by this time, even I could tell she was crying. She kept on expressing how grateful she was and wanted me to pass her regards to Kristen.

    We approached the well together and there many children, a few men and a couple of women gathered around. Lucas immediately asked who among the men spoke English and Walter spoke up. Walter, who I later found out is Priscilla’s grandson, would be my interviewee. Where possible Lucas tries to find Samburu people that can speak English so that I can directly communicate with them and get the full story rather than going through him to translate.

    In terms of the operation and maintenance of the well, the well has had no problems as Priscilla keeps an eye on it from her homestead. The community do not pay dues but rather they gather money every month to pay for repairs. So far the only problem has been with the rubbers which the community can afford to replace.

    Walter told me that before this well, women and children would have to go 3-4 kilometers away to find water. The water they did find came from shallow hand dug wells that were contaminated either by animal feces or from people bathing in these small watering holes. In addition, the women would have to wait for the water to gather so that there was a substantial amount to take home; using a cup they would painstakingly fill up their jerry cans and then head home. This would take on average 4 hours each day! In this community, the well is only 2-3 minutes away from their homes! .

    The well water is mainly used for cooking/drinking/consumption and washing. When I asked how the well has changed daily life, Walter reminded me that before, they would get water from a contaminated waterhole that was not good for consumption. Before the well, cholera, dysentery and other water-borne diseases were very prevalent and was the number one source of illness. Now that they have safe clean drinking water, there are very few cases of water-borne diseases; now, the most common health problem is malaria.

    With water, many households in the community now grow small kitchen gardens. They take the water from the well to water their vegetables. There is actually a small community farm right next to the well where they grow kale, tomatoes, beans, watermelon, maiz, and sugar cane. The water that is wasted from the well flows straight into the garden! Before, it would be very expensive to buy these vegetables. The households could only afford to eat maize. Now, these crops help to balance their diet and give them better nutrition.

    With the time saved from not having to walk far distances to find water, people can now go and look after livestock and take on small employment opportunities.

    With water, men are able to make bricks which they can use to make houses or to sell to make a small profit. Walter himself is involved in brick making along with ten other youths and said that he normally sells the bricks for 10 KES (less than 15 cents) and can make 1,400 bricks per week. Whatever money they make they use to buy livestock and pay school fees.

    Lastly but very importantly, with water, people and homesteads are clean. They are able to bathe themselves and wash their homestead on a regular basis but they are also able to keep their utensils clean. I can tell by the way they talk about this change in their life just how great they value cleanliness.

    After I was finished asking Walter a bunch of questions, Lucas had one final question to ask (thankfully we were able to capture this on camera because his response was incredible). Lucas asked this simple question: “If one day The Samburu Project decided to take this well away from you, what would happen?” Walter began by saying that people would suffer a lot. He reiterated that people used to travel 3-4 km across a mountain to get water and not only was that water contaminated but the mountains were very dangerous as there were many wild animals; conflicts would break out between the animals and people, leaving the latter badly injured. Now that there is a well, the time to fetch water has been drastically reduced allowing women to take on small jobs and sustain their families. Again, households are now a lot cleaner; without the well, there would be very little water and the water would be dirty.

    When Lucas asked again, “Well what would you do if we wanted to take the well away?” Walter replied without hesitating: “Water is life. We won’t let you take life away from people.” That response left me speechless.

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    jackie jennings-bates 2 Months after completion 8 Nov, 2011

    Upper Margwe

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    It was great to see such a recently completed installation by Ryan's Well. Before the community ad to scramble down the steep bank and try and get water from teh dry river bed. Sometimes the children would get buried in mudslides. We were also told they also used to get sick ( suffer from typhoid and cholera.)
    Lucas was very excited to see that they had started a brick building business all under their own initiative. They had formed and pre-sold 5,000 bricks, and at a market price of 20 shillings each that is a considerable income. They form them from local material mixed with the well water and then they bake them in a fire.
    We were also invited into a home here, belonging to Paidia Lenkonyokiee, of the committee. It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to share this experience with people at home. The homes are about 60 sq ft, with a tiny kitchen and bedroom with goatskis on teh floor. The goats were in the hallway and the chicken in the kitchen. There was no ventilation for the fire and it wasn't until 2 days later I realised I didn't see any food at all. This was home to 5 people, 3 generations.

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  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 2 Sep, 2011 Implementation Phase
    Kristen Kosinski ( The Samburu Project ) About 1 Month after start 25 Aug, 2011

    Water Hit!

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    We began drilling yesterday (August 24th) and the rig hit water today (August 25th) at 53m. The drilling team finished drilling at 60 meters. The community was elated! They did not want to believe it until they saw it for their own eyes. We hope that the pump will be installed and the well complete by Sunday, August 28th.

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    Kristen Kosinski ( The Samburu Project ) 28 Days after start 3 Aug, 2011

    Red Tape in Well Drilling

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    When Lucas went to the Water Resource Management Authority to pick up permits for our 10 wells, he first learned that the office was no longer in Nanyuki but had moved to Isiolo. When he finally arrived in Isiolo he was met with many challenges. For our previous four well drills, we have always produced the Hydrogeological Reports, an application and wrote a check and permits were given on the spot. Not this time! Not until this morning, 21 days after Lucas' initial visit to the WRMA, did we actually receive permission to begin drilling (still waiting for permits!).

    Lucas had to go back to EVERY community and get titles for the land we are drilling on. The challenging aspect of this is that no one "owns" the land in Samburu as it is the land of the community. He wrote agreements with the area chiefs, area counselors and key elders which stated that they were donating the land to the designated women’s group. When he went back to the WRMA with the Title Deeds, they then told him that he had to get a Constitution from EVERY women's group!!! Fortunately, Naibosho Women's Group in Wamba, an umbrella organization has representatives from all of the area's women’s groups. Instead of going back to ALL the communities again, he was able to use their Constitution. And lastly, a new association called the Water Resource User Authority has been formed. Lucas had to get three members of their committee to sign a letter saying that The Samburu Project has done a good job. Unfortunately, the three people who needed to sign live in three different places; Laikepia, Maralal and Archer’s Post which caused major logistical challenges.

    After Lucas spent week gathering the necessary materials and return to the WRMA office in Isiolo, it turns out that the person who is in charge was away for some time. Then, when he returned yesterday, after Lucas spent three days waiting for him, the computers in the office were down.

    All part of the adventures in well drilling...onward and upward!

    Kristen Kosinski ( The Samburu Project ) 9 Days after start 15 Jul, 2011

    Site Selection DAY 1

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    After surveying 5 possible well locations, Kariuki and Lucas found a viable site to drill. Finding a well site is always a moment of celebration, but this particular site was special because it was very long in coming. Ryan's Well Foundation and TSP have been talking about drilling a well in Margwe since May 31, 2010. We'll celebrate even more when all comes to fruition with the drilling and installation of the well in August!

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  • Implementation Phase Project started on 6 Jul, 2011 Preparation Phase

Funded by Ryan's Well Foundation, The Samburu Project will drill and install a shallow well equipped with a handpump in the Upper Margwe community.

Narrative

This community was chosen because children, especially girls, do not attend school because they spend most of their time looking for water. The population is also very high. On average, people walk 6 km each way in search of water.

The community expects to benefit in a number of ways: women will have time to participate in income-generating activities, children will attend/have time to go to school, and they will have clean, safe drinking water.

The community anticipates using the well for the following purposes: to enhance their livelihoods through farming, to use water for domestic and livestock purposes, and the establishment of a community meeting point where elders will meet to pass key resolutions of the community.

Five sites were surveyed before finding a viable site.

Sustainability

Creating and measuring long-term impact

A well committee has been created and roles have been established. A community fund will be established once the well has been drilled in August 2011.

Impact

People Impacted: 1730

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 1730

346 Households @ 5 people per house
Data Source: Community Elders & Local Government

School Children Getting Water: 1193

Ntepes Preschool - 185 children
Ntepes Primary School - 1008 children

People Getting Sanitation: 1730

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

People Getting Other Benefits: 1730

Water is the foundation from which all things grow. We expect that this community will receive many benefits beyond access to clean, safe drinking water.

Funding

Funded:
$13,000
Community:
$1,850
Final Cost:
$14,850

Plan/Proposal