Sustainability Community Partners
Summary – I traveled to Kenya several times from 2011 to 2013. We visited many communities and decided to work first with the Masai community in the Magadi region. They have been hard hit by the 2009/2011 droughts.
Through a series of community meetings we were able to lay out a plan. We designed the program to both promote women’s empowerment and provide clean water to some of the villages hardest hit by the drought.
It became clear early on though that the project needed to happen in stages. The first and short term strategy is the Nasaru Water Tank Project, laying the groundwork for a more permanent solution.
Sustainability - We believe Women are Key to a sustainable solution.
Community – Talking to the Masai provided a Great Opportunity.
Partnership – Great People to work with.
Personal story – Why am I doing this?
Background - The Magadi area has been hit hard by drought. The per-capita yearly income has decreased by as much as 80%. They do get rain a couple times a year but it comes all at once, floods everything and runs off quickly. The infrastructure, if any exists at all, retains only a very small portion of what is needed.
Many have initiated water projects in Oldonyo-Nyokie but they have not provided lasting relief. After the first trip in 2011/12 we realized that a fresh approach was needed. We re-examined all the previous water projects and aspects of life in the Masai Community. As a result we came up with a collective plan that is working.
Our approach with his project is different because we are starting from scratch, building involvement within each village through the training of the women, giving them the support and the resources to be successful and committed for the long haul. Change does not happen with one tank, one well, but over time and through persistence.
Phase I - We are installing 10,000 liter water tanks in five villages, delivering clean water at least once a week and training a group of women in each village to manage the project.