Water scarcity is a problem that has hit almost every part of the country, making it difficult for human beings and animals to survive. Some of the areas like North Eastern Kenya and parts of the Rift Valley province have experienced prolonged drought that has threatened life of every creature in existence.
Although some areas have seasonal and permanent water sources, sometimes getting this commodity from the sources to homes has always been a challenge. Some community members especially women have to treck for long distances braving the hot sun and dangerous wild animals just to get this vital commodity that no life can prosper without.This is a very tiresome activity, bearing in mind that the women do not have sufficient energy to carry the jerricans of water, due to hunger that has also stricken them.
Those who are lucky enough though use donkeys to ferry the commodity. The donkeys meanwhile cannot carry enough water because every donkey can carry a maximum of four jerricans of water. This means that one has to make several trips to the water source in order to get enough of the commodity. This is very unfortunate, bearing in mind that we are in the 21st century where every homestead should have easy access to pipped water. Now that this has not happened, there is a need to device ways on which transport of the available water from its source to homesteads is easy.
Tuesday 22nd March (World Water Day, 2016) will remain vivid in the minds of Kenyans as a great landmark to handling water problem in the country was made. Africaqua in conjunction with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, the Donkey Sanctuary, Water.org and other partners presented the 2nd generation donkey cart to the public.
The donkey cart is seen as a reprieve to many communities especially those living in the arid areas because their donkeys will be able to pull it for longer distances without getting tired. This is because the cart has strategically been designed in such a way that the load lies on the axle and hence no much pressure is applied on the donkey as it is the case with the current donkey carts.
The donkey cart attracted a lot of attention from the people who attended the World Water Day, 2016 at Mirera Primary School in Naivasha, every one eager to know how it will be operating and its advantage over the existing carts. Kelvin Gacheru, an engineer at Africaqua and who has also played a great role in ensuring that the donkey cart is constructed as required, had answers ready for everyone.
“The donkey cart is a very convenient device that is definitely of higher value and convenience than the existing ones. I have been monitoring both its design and construction to ensure that it meets its original goal of enhancing convenience to users. At this point, I can comfortably assure you that this is the best cart to use with our donkeys”, said kelvin, answering a question from one of the people who visited the Africaqua exhibition center at Mirera primary school grounds.
Although the program for the day seemed to be very tight, Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who had also been excited with the invention spared a few minutes for the Africaqua CEO David Kuria to present the donkey cart for official launch.
Speaking during the event, Kuria urged the community members to consider acquiring the cart, stating that it will only cost one around Kshs 70 000 which is not that expensive, considering the benefits it brings. He also promised that 3rd generation donkey cart is on its way and will be digital, to make it even more easier for donkeys to ferry water.
While launching the donkey cart, Wamalwa lauded the invention, saying that with such innovations, water problem can be tackled properly. He also urged the community members to come up with more ideas and inventions to help in handling the water scarcity nightmare.
The donkey carts are part of the Africaqua’s One Safe Drop Initiative, determined to offer safe drinking water to communities regardless of their area of residence. The branded donkey carts will start operating in Kimana, Kajiado County, where the company has already set up a Water Shop to enhance water delivery to the community members.