AfricAqua Kimana Water Project in Kajiado County. The project is now serving thousands of people with safe drinking water.
Water is probably the scarcest of all the basic commodities people need for survival, leaving them with too costly decisions to make. It is one of the commodities provided by nature, but unfortunately, nature has not been “fair” enough to distribute it evenly. This has made some people to easily access the commodity while others have to struggle too much to get it. The communities lacking easy access to water usually have sad stories to narrate. Sometimes, governmental and non-governmental organisations have come in their rescue, changing their story of life. Such is the story of Janet Naisianoi, a mother of three and Kimana resident, who is a major beneficiary of the AfricAqua Kimana Water Project. She narrates her moving story to David Mwaura, AfricAqua Communications Manager.
Kimana is the place I have known to be my home for the last 28 years. I was born here, partially educated here and married here. When I talk about partial education, you definitely know what I mean. My community does not put a lot of emphasis on education especially for the girl child although things are now changing.
After my basic education that abruptly ended at class three when my father decided that the knowledge I had was enough, I started doing homestead chores as outlined in our traditions. I had to start playing the woman roles, with some of them being cumbersome for a girl of my age.
As you can see for yourselves, this is a very dry area receiving very little rainfall per year. Whatever you can see today is the same thing you could have seen twenty years ago. Nothing much has changed since then. Sun is very hot here. You can feel it properly. So, even after the short rains most of the open rain water collection points dry after some few days. This usually make peoples’ lives very difficult.
Donkeys used to carry water in Kimana, Kajiado County. AfricAqua has come up with a donkey cart that will make it easier for donkeys to ferry water.
As a little girl in her tender age, I had to accompany my mother and sisters to a stream five kilometers from my parent’s home. With a 20 liter jerrican of water, journey to and fro the stream got tougher day by day. I did not have much energy to do the hard task, because of my age and hunger as well. Meanwhile, I did not have an option, I needed water and I therefore had to find some energy to do the hard task.
Although the stream water was not safe for drinking, we had to quench thirst with it. No one could ever thought otherwise. We knew that the water was dirty but thirst could not have allowed us to think of chances of getting waterborne infections. We had to make the costly decision of drinking the water. We were survivors anyway.
When I attained a marriageable age, I was married off to a man in our neighborhood. This is the time the reality of challenges associated with being a woman and more specifically a wife to somebody struck me. It is also at this point when I fully realized how water scarcity problem can make one live a difficult life.
Being a wife, I had to make sure that there is enough water for use in that house. I had to do this single handedly unlike at my parent’s house where I did it with my mother and sisters. I had to wake up very early in the morning to go to the same stream I used to go during my old days. I had to make several trips to the stream and I therefore had to brave the scorching sun and rough roads. Life became even harder when motherhood knocked. I had to manage time for my kids and for water collection. Life became harder and harder making me to call unto God all the time to provide me with a nearer source of water.
AfricAqua semi collapsible jerricans filled with water at the AfricAqua Kimana Water Shop.
Today, I feel very happy because my prayer has been answered. I prayed to God for a nearer water source but He has done more than that. There is now a nearer source of water but not only water, but safe drinking water.
When I heard of AfricAqua’s plan of initiating the water project, I never thought it would come to be. In fact I rubbished it as a mere joke. Although I have been hopeful of such a thing happening, I never thought time for it had come. I had to go to the site when the construction and water abstraction began to witness the great works of God.
When the project’s water started selling, I was among the first people to buy it. To my surprise, I only had to make an order and water was delivered immediately. I thought I was dreaming until I made an order some few days later and delivery made as well.
AfricAqua CEO David Kuria(Right) with Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa unveiling the AfricAqua Kimana Water Shop plaque during the Shop’s launch on 2nd March, 2016.
I now feel like a heavy burden has been dropped from my shoulders. I can now get easy access to safe drinking water. For the first time, I have water for drinking and for performing other domestic operations.
Life have changed for myself and my family since the start of this project. I now do not have to worry about the water I am drinking together with my kids since it is a product that has been tested and proven to be healthy for human consumption.
AfricAqua tuktuk being loaded with water ready to be delivered to customers.
Currently, I get enough time to associate with my friends and engage in other important activities to improve on the living conditions of my family. There is no more trekking to the stream. This water is now making me feel like a Kenyan living in a country that is celebrating over 50 years of independence. The water is cheap, with the value of the money spent being attached to the high quality of the commodity.
Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa (With Microphone) officially launches the AfricAqua 2nd Generation donkey cart during the world water day, 2016 celebrations in Naivasha. He urged people continue coming up with more inventions to help in solving water problem.
I wish to sincerely thank the AfricAqua Limited and partners for remembering us when we least expected it to happen. I would also request the company to consider extending its operations to other deserving areas to supply people with safe drinking water.
AfricAqua 2nd Generation donkey cart. It was officially commissioned by Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa on 22nd March, 2016. It will help in convenient water supply using donkeys.
This is just one of the many stories being shared by Kimana residents. Although Janet requested not to be taken any photo, I found it necessary to share her impressive story.