A Last-Minute Trip to Kenya

When we received word that Paul, one of our mechanic volunteers, had two weeks off work and could travel to help our team in Kenya, we leapt at the chance! We never have any shortage of work for trained mechanics, so the work that Paul can accomplish in two weeks will be so valuable to our Kenyan team. Pastor David Maina, leader of Lifewater Kenya, was practically dancing a jig when he heard that Paul and Lynda were coming to help. So, tickets were booked and Paul and Lynda were on their way less than 24 hours later!

The following is some notes from Lynda of what they have been up to since arriving on Monday.

Since I’ve arrived one well is drilled and a 2nd well is close to being done, but is in hard rock so is taking a bit longer. They are both quite a way up in the mountains.

Children from community that is receiving a new well

Children from community that is receiving a new well

The first community is at a church/school compound. The people are mostly farmers and have to walk as far as 4 km to a spring down a steep path that was fairly treacherous even in the dry season and the mountains are rarely dry. The children carry the water in 2 litre jugs, the women in 5 gal jugs and the men and young boys come with donkeys carrying 4 jugs.

The second community is really deep in the mountains on a very poor road, plenty of people living in the area and it’s placed in a very large school property. Again the distance to water requires a donkey as it’s so far to haul any quantity and there is no evidence of water catchment seen anywhere around. These two wells will make an enormous difference to the two communities, since the water will be safe to drink and the time they spend fetching water will be able to be spent doing other things.

A donkey is used to haul water up the mountain

A donkey is used to haul water up the mountain

We visited the Kikopey Center, it is a massive undertaking. The washrooms we’ve sponsored there are lovely. The Old Age washroom is yet to be opened, it includes a side with 3 pour flush toilets for the men and 3 for the women as well as a urinal for the men and a separate shower stall for each gender. This latrine will be drained to a massive septic tank that is stone and cement lined which will be eternal, as it can be pumped out. This part of the sanitation program needs a new donor!

Paul has been very successful, even given a slowish start due to absolutely no tools available. He has gotten 3 mud pumps up and running, and is hopeful for one of the broken powerheads to be up and running, Hallelujah! The LS-100 has had a major facelift and is better than it’s been for years, ready to go back out in the field. Paul has been working with the youth who live there, having them dismantle machines that are not repairable to make a store of usable parts. The team has been blessed with a new invention to assist with developing the well. It’s very labourous, sometimes taking up to 4 days to get all the mud and drilling cuttings out of the well. All by putting a hollow tube with a foot valve down the bore hole, hauling it up with a rope, dumping that column of water out, putting the tube back down the hole etc.. now an old broken wheelchair has been rehabbed to make a bailer reel with 2 handles.. Should diminish the time significantly.

I’ve had a good time with Charity the Office manager. We made significant breakthroughs with restructuring their organizing of the many programs and all the hundreds of files and photos each require. A mini tutorial in word was exciting and fun to learn together on a new program.. We felt like queen Hackers when we finished the day!

A new MOU will be signed tomorrow and we hope to finish up the little bits and pieces of job tomorrow so that Monday will be spent in review and organizing their workshop.


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