The 3rd well funded by the Woodside Elementary School Community in Woodside, CA, The Samburu Project drilled and installed a shallow well equipped with a handpump in the Supalek community.

Supalek_6

Narrative

This community has a high rate of waterborne disease. Because they fetch their water from the Ewaso Nyiro River, there is a high incidence of crocodile attacks. Community members must currently walk about 10 minutes to reach the river.

A well will greatly improve the hygienic standards in the Supalek community. They will use the water for domestic purposes as well as livestock.

    Stephanie Ng ( The Samburu Project ) 7 Months after completion 23 May, 2012

    Stephanie Ng's Visit- May 2012

    Status: Complete - Successful

    Operating Status:

    We arrived at Archer’s Post a little after 5:30 PM and after we dropped of my luggage in my room, we headed straight to the Supalek Well. Since it was getting late in the evening, Lucas called Maria, the chairwoman of the well and asked whether it would be convenient for us to come by. When we arrived at her village, Maria was standing at the bush fence along with some children waiting for our arrival. She immediately approached us and after giving Lucas a warm handshake, she took my hand and drew me in for a very close embrace as she expressed her hospitality and her thanks. I was immediately drawn to her by her soothing voice, quiet strength, and her gentleness and kindness.

    She walked with us to where the well was drilled this past August and I was surprised that even at six in the evening, there was still a steady flow of people coming and taking water from this well. She told me that this well is used by 10 villages in the area and her particular village has about 40 members. The well is mainly used by the women in these communities who take the water and use it primarily for feeding their livestock and families.

    Before they had this well, Maria described how they would have to walk about one kilometer to the river bed. Though the distance may not seem so great, she went on to say that in order to find water, they would have to dig shallow holes into the sand and the water they could find would be murky and dirty. During the rainy season, the river beds are after a downpour. This was actually the first riverbed that I saw during my time here that actually had a flowing body of water. As I came closer to the edge (still on higher ground) to take a better picture of the river, Lucas warned me “Don’t get eaten by a crocodile!” I laughed at first and then turned around to see that he was completely serious. Maria explained to me that there are many crocodiles that live in the riverbed throughout the year. Before this well, when they were forced to draw water either from the flowing river during the rainy season or hand dug holes during the better part of the year, women and children were very vulnerable to crocodile attacks. It was not uncommon to hear of livestock or children who had to fetch water on behalf of the family to have been confronted by one of these powerful creatures. In fact, one of the goats from her community was killed only two days ago. (From that point on, I was careful to stay very far away from the edge.) Maria revealed that most people unfortunately died from the bite(s) –she knew of 20 people that died from a crocodile incident and only 10 that survived the attack. Those 10 survivors however have many problems- some do not have hands, others walk with a limp, and still others are blind. I had heard about the dangers of wildlife during my other well visits but this was the first well where conflicts with wild animals seemed to be a regular danger when fetching water. Lucas filled me in that this a big reason why we drilled the well in this area.

    Now that they have a safe, clean water source, women are able to engage in other things, such as making jewelry, gathering firewood, caring for children, and tending after tourists! I found out that there are many travelers that pass through Archer’s Post, especially during the summer time. Now that they have more times on their hands and are no longer debilitated with water-borne diseases all day, women can now spend more time on their beadwork and jewelry to sell to these tourists. I was encouraged to hear that instead of each community for themselves, these ten villages work together as one big community and they share the profits amongst each other. During the high season, they can make a total of 5,000-15,000 KES ($62.5 – $187.5) each day! With water they can not only spread their culture but also make a living.

    As for the children, they are now able to go to school. In fact, in her community, they were able to start a preschool where toddlers as young as two years old now attend. From her particular village of 40 people, most of the children (about 20 or so) now attend school whether it be nursery, primary or secondary. When asked what was the ratio of girls to boys, Maria said that most of the school children are girls, mainly because there are more girls than boys in this village.

    While we were still on the topic of school children, I told Maria that this well was funded entirely by school children back in the States! These students from Woodside Elementary School worked tirelessly in their fundraising efforts and even held a walk-a-thon to raise enough money to drill this well. We asked if she had anything she wanted to say to these children and she began by saying how much they appreciate the well because of the benefits clean water brings. She encourages the Woodside students to continue their efforts because she can testify personally the good things that they have done for this community. She hopes that one day there can be wells all around Archer’s Post to help everyone who still doesn’t have access to clean water. She ended by saying thank you on behalf of herself and the community and she hopes that one day these children can help her and her people again. Hearing about the work that these students put in and seeing the fruits of their labor reminds me that we are never too young or small to make a big difference in this world!

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  • Impact Assessment (M&E) Phase Project completed on 8 Nov, 2011 Implementation Phase
    Kristen Kosinski ( The Samburu Project ) 16 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 ) 2 Days after start 20 Jul, 2011

    Site Selection DAY 2

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    After surveying 7 potential sites, Kariuki found a viable location for a well. Lucas' email about the well site:

    "Kristen,
    Bravo!!!! We eventually succeeded to have a viable site for drilling near Supalek village. The folks from Supalek were very happy. Attached are their pics. The tourists too joined the celebrations. Am soooooo happy."

    Kristen Kosinski ( The Samburu Project ) Less Than A Minute after start 18 Jul, 2011

    Site Selection DAY 1

    Status: In-progress

    Operating Status:

    Lucas' email updating us about the day says it all:

    "We had a memorable time at Supalek. I was able to meet with Maria and her husband. This really brought back good memories while I was working for Christian Children's Fund now Child Fund. I used to have a special bond with this village. However, we were not able to get [a] potential site for drilling but will go back tomorrow to survey again as Kariuki is optimistic that we will get a site there. Attached are the pics from this wonderful community."

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  • Implementation Phase Project started on 18 Jul, 2011 Preparation Phase

The 3rd well funded by the Woodside Elementary School Community in Woodside, CA, The Samburu Project drilled and installed a shallow well equipped with a handpump in the Supalek community.

Narrative

This community has a high rate of waterborne disease. Because they fetch their water from the Ewaso Nyiro River, there is a high incidence of crocodile attacks. Community members must currently walk about 10 minutes to reach the river.

A well will greatly improve the hygienic standards in the Supalek community. They will use the water for domestic purposes as well as livestock.

Sustainability

Creating and measuring long-term impact

A water committee has been formed. They will oversee the day-to-day management of the well and communicate with TSP if any issues arise. The community fund will be created when well drilling begins in August 2011.

Other Issues

Unusual and unexpected issues faced during project execution

The community wanted the well to be located inside Supalek.

Impact

People Impacted: 1050

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 1050

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

School Children Getting Water: 712

Supalek Preschool - 40 children
Nashami Preschool - 31 children
Umoja Preschool - 55 children
Lorubae Preschool - 77 children
Lorubae Primary School - 269 children, 5 teachers
Waso Secondary School - 240 children

People Getting Sanitation: 1050

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

People Getting Other Benefits: 1050

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.

Maintenance/Operating Costs Annual, in US$: $250

Creating and measuring long-term impact

A water committee has been formed. They will oversee the day-to-day management of the well and communicate with TSP if any issues arise. The community fund will be created when well drilling begins in August 2011.

Funding

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

Plan/Proposal