Life has been pretty hard for the community of Emali, according to Jackline, the teacher at Entumoto early childhood centre in the Kenyan rural township. In 2011 they struggled through a severe drought and the fear of future droughts is never far away from people’s minds.
Until recently, the nearest water source was seven kilometres away, so collecting water was a significant challenge – sapping precious time and energy.
The young children used to arrive at the early childhood centre dirty with no way to wash the dust away, and Jackline had to depend on parents to fetch water by donkey so that she could cook a midday meal for the children. If the donkeys could not be found, then water couldn’t be collected, which meant the children missed their meal. Jackline also sometimes had to leave the children in the care of a parent so she could travel in search of water for her own family.
With the help of many generous donors, ChildFund New Zealand has supported the drilling of a borehole in Entumoto. This has provided clean, fresh water to over 1,000 people in the community, and a fresh start, too.
The children are now clean, there is always enough water to cook their meals, and they’re also at less risk from waterborne diseases,” says Jackline.
Parents in the village are able to spend more time earning an income or completing other chores. Troughs have been built for livestock; the cows and goats don’t need to walk long distances to find water anymore, meaning they are healthier and produce more milk.
ChildFund New Zealand has also funded two dams, another borehole and a shallow well in Emali to help people recover from the 2011 drought and to ensure access to water during any potential future droughts.
By Fiona Callen, Programme Analyst