Our last tour in Oloitoktok, Kajiado county ended in Ngama; a small center located a few kilometers from Kenya-Tanzania border. You remember I told you about the water scarcity nightmare being experienced by residents in the whole of Oloitoktok region. If you were keen enough, you can remember that I promised to come back to Oloitoktok and this time round, not to do a research on the state of water in this area . I hinted out of an upcomig project aimed at addressing the water scarcity problem in this district. Everything has now been finalized and I have come back through the same route I used last time, since I am not privy to any other route.
Brains have been working tirelessly days and nights and have at last found a solution to the water problem for the whole of the Oloitoktok district and neighbouring areas. Local leaders, AfricAqua and EKOCENTRE have been working closely to ensure that water challenge in this area is handled once and for all. There is a new ‘thing’ that has been constructed and it will serve this deserving community with safe drinking water.
Today, we have come to officailly launch the project; The Oasis. Remember that during our previous tour, we found out that Oloitoktok is an arid area. People from all walks of life have travelled from far and wide to witness the ground-breaking event as Oloitoktok residents get reprieve from water scarcity menace. Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa is also present. This tells you how important the water centre is important to everyone.
The Oasis has been set up in Kimana. Remember I told you that Kimana is only a few kilometers from Oloitoktok and hence one of the towns in Oloitoktok district. Preparations are on and everything has been set for the big day. Community members; young and elderly and guests have started thronging into the water centre. They could not have afforded to miss this auspicious occasion . History is being made here.
Earlier on, I had held some interviews to know what people are saying about the new born project in Kimana, Oloitoktok. Looking at the faces of people, you can tell how excited people are with this project. Jennifer Semeyian, a Kimana resident and a mother of four could not hide her joy. She started celebrating long before the project was officially lunched. She told me that life used to be difficult because even getting drinking water for herself has been hectic. She lives a few meters from the project site and therefore a big beneficiary of the AfricAqua Kimana water project.
She told me that she now orders for both raw and treated water from the water centre and deliveries are done at the approproiate time, unlike before when she could have waited for almost a whole day for the commodity to be delivered by vendors operating within the town.
Her sentiments were shared by Joyce Naisenya, who said that her life has completely changed since she started using the AfricAqua water. For Joyce, the water center is a beacon of hope for herself and other community members. She could not hide her happiness while explaining to me the difference between her past and the present life. She told me that for the first time in her life, she has been able to access the safest drinking water at a price she can afford.
“I feel like God himself has landed in Kimana. I cannot believe that I can now afford to drink water without fear of being infected with waterborne diseases. For the first time, I can say this is drinking water and this is water for other domestic uses. The water is cheap and of very high quality. A big thank you to AfricAqua for remembering us. We thought everyone forgot about us,”said Joyce amid laughter.
From the interviews, I can confirm that the residents are very excited with the project. It is the greatest gift they have received after their long wait. They can now enjoy the new developments in the area. Their language has now changed. Everyone is now talking about safe water availability.
School pupils and students are lined up to perform for the guests in attendance. All their presentations are on water and AfricAqua. It is evident that AfricAqua through CEO David Kuria and Coca-Cola’s EKOCENTRE has touched the lives of the Oloitoktok residents. This is painted all over their faces.
The water from the site undergoes filtration and reverse osmosis to ensure that even the minor traces of impurities are removed before it is conveyed to the community for use. Joyce Nduta, the project manager takes us through the whole process of water treatment. She has such a voice you cannot afford to stop listening to. Her eloquence and choice of words makes us stare at her, nodding our heads in agreement with everything she says.
“Our water is very safe for drinking since after abstraction, it has to go through a large scale water treatment process. The process of filtration and reverse osmosis takes place to make sure that when it comes out through that tap ( a tap at the far corner inside the water centre), one can comfortably drink it without any fear. Our water treatment system is a combination of advanced technologies as you can see. I have a team of dedicated and hardworking young people who help in packaging and delivery of this vital commodity to people who place an order with us.
” We package our water in 25 litre and 10 litre jerricans ready for delivery to our customers. We use tuktuks to do door to door delivery of the commodity. Everyone therefore has a chance to access this commodity irrespective of their areas of residence.”
From my interaction with Joyce, I can note that everything she is talking about is “safe water”, “safe water” and “safe water”. She cannot complete a sentence without mention safe water. This is what the AfricAqua is offerign to the community.
AfricAqua CEO David Kuria is the happiest man of the century after seeing his dream come true. It started with an idea that has now yielded a massive project that everyone is now talking about. The project will definitely save thousands of lives in the region and neighboring areas . History has been made in Oloitoktok.
There is a wise saying that goes like, ‘water is life’. Oloitoktok residents now understand the proverb properly. Lives have been liberated. Community members now have hope to live. Everyone can now afford a smile.The community is now enjoying the fruits of its patience.
I have kept the promise I made.