Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, September 18, 2009

When The Water Flows

I've written about our two weeks trying to bring water to Kasaani village. Sara, our project leader in Tsavo tells what those two weeks meant to her:

It takes a fair bit to make me cry, but I do cry. People cry for different reasons and at different times. Some cry around others who are crying, other people cry when they are alone. Some wear big sunglasses and let a few tears sneak out when no one is watching (that’s me), others cry loudly and freely. The last time I cried was sitting on bus from Mombasa to Taveta – I looked out of the window and saw people carrying empty yellow water jerry cans to the north of the village of Kasaani. I knew some of the people and didn’t know others. So why would I cry about that? Because it meant that the water pipeline I had been working on a week earlier was up and running and the people of this village were no longer making the 5km return journey to fetch water from the water source they previously relied upon.

Priscilla is finally able to get water in her village

When I left Kasaani a week earlier, the pipeline was complete but there were a few teething problems and I was yet to see the water flowing for any extended period of time in Kasaani. Even though countless people from the community had called me the following week to tell me that the water was flowing, the sight of people carrying their jerry cans out in the direction of the tap in Kasaani somehow made it more real. I knew for sure that the pipeline was being used and making a difference to the people of this community. Seeing people fetching water from the tap in Kasaani was worth every ache and pain that arose during the two weeks we spent working on the pipeline.

Sara (left), David the chairman of the Kasaani ex-poachers group and volunteer Zaya witness the first water flowing along the pipeline

Working on this project has been one of the best things I have ever done and I don’t say things like that lightly. It has been tough. More things went wrong than I dared to consider could possibly have gone wrong. But at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the people of Kasaani now have their own supply of drinking water in their village.

I owe thanks to so many people who made this project possible – to Taveta District Council's Constituency Development Fund for putting in the greatest financial contribution, and doing it within the time frame required, to the other staff who ventured out there and covered me while I was tied up in endless meetings, to the community of Kasaani for their endless work, to my boss for believing that I could pull this project off, and, to the amazing volunteers who came out to work on this project – it would never have happened without them. Asanteni sana.
Sara (centre) with volunteers Carl and Phil and members of the Kasaani community digging their way to the village in week 1