Bringing Clean Water to Kenya: Building a Life-Changing
Access to clean water is a basic human right, yet millions of people still lack it. For the past six rain seasons in a row, Kenya has experienced a significant absence of rainfall, resulting in water scarcity all over the country. The local communities are therefore facing some serious issues of hunger and drought.
To tackle this pressing problem, Periamma has decided to constructing a 180-meter deep water well. By providing a sustainable source of clean water, we aim to improve the lives of the affected communities and offer a hopeful future in the face of ongoing drought conditions. The well will be located in Baringo County and will provide clean and fresh water for 5000 people. A lifegiving project we are proud to be presenting.
The drought of Africa
In Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, millions are affected by the worst drought in 40 years, and the hunger crisis is escalating rapidly. The number of people facing a hunger crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia has risen from 10 million people to around 23 million people in one year.
This part of Africa depends on two rainy seasons – the March-May period, when 70% of all rain falls, and the October-November period. If sufficient rain does not fall in these months now, then it will be the third year in a row that the rain has not occurred. This means that we are facing the worst famine disaster ever in the 73 years that we have data from the region.
Climate change plays a significant role in this context. A global warming is underway, which is particularly felt in the countries on the Horn of Africa. The higher temperatures mean that more moisture evaporates from the soil surface as well as from plants and vegetation.
This sets off a vicious cycle: when there is moisture on the ground, some of the sun’s energy is used to evaporate it, which means less energy to heat the ground surface and the surrounding air. But when the soil is dry, the sun uses all its energy for heating, so the soil and air become even hotter, and the little moisture that remains evaporates faster, and the drought becomes worse.
According to the UN, Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. This despite the fact that the continent only contributes 4% of global carbon emissions.
“It’s a ‘perfect storm’ of repeated drought shocks, repeated high temperatures that dry out the earth, combined with an extraordinarily dry 2022,” says Chris Funk, director of the Climate Hazards Center at the University of California.
The impact of a waterwell
Maji ni Uhai (Water is Life)
It is typically the women and children’s job to fetch water. They walk several kilometers to the local pond or small river to collect water. Water which is often full of bacteria and parasites that cause diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid and malaria.
“The mosquitoes flicker across the mud-brown mirror of the excavated pond in the middle of the field. The small killer insects lay their malaria-filled eggs at the water’s edge, but this is not immediately visible. When it rains, the animal waste seeps with the surface water across the field to the pond. There is no other place to get water. It is used for drinking water, for washing, for cooking, for washing clothes and for the animals.”
Children and adults can make do with 5 liters of water a day for drinking and cooking. In addition, they should preferably have 25-50 liters of water for washing hands, brushing teeth, washing clothes and cleaning. By comparison, every Dane uses an average of more than 100 liters of water per day.
Providing clean water in a community is a prerequisite for the children to go to school. This not only ensures that they are healthy enough to go to school, but frees them from the time-consuming task of hauling water so that they have time to go to school and do homework.
In Kenya alone, more than 1 million children under the age of 5, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers, are currently affected by acute malnutrition. Persistent droughts threaten families’ livelihoods, lead to poor nutrition among both children and adults, and subsequently reduce regular school attendance. Students are often forced to drop out of school and find temporary employment to earn money and help feed their families.
The well will mean a fundamental change in life for the 5,000 people it is estimated that the well can help with clean drinking water. To put it into perspective, it corresponds to the population of Nykøbing Zealand.
If you wish to donate to the project, please click down below to visit our donation page. Make sure to choose Water Well, Kenya as the option. Thank you!
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