Barbara Veres, Social Media Coordinator
We are delighted to announce the start of another exciting partnership with Canada’s own Free The Children (FTC) – a non-profit who has been working on a water kiosk project in the Masaai Mara region in southwestern Kenya. These new water kiosks will bring so much more to the communities than just water- it will gives schools and communities accesss to fresh water on a daily basis, which in turn, will give the young girls of the community the opportunity to further their education. This is truly something to celebrate! Below is a letter from Gillian Dowie, Manager of Donor Relations for Free the Children. We thought sharing Gillian’s letter would be an inspiring way to show our CEF supporters what wonderful work FTC has been doing in Kenya and why we’re so proud to have partnered with them for the Kenya Water Kiosk Project.
[Free the Children] FTC has been operating in the Narok South District of Kenya since 1999, working with both Kipsigis and Maasai communities. It is among the poorest regions in the country, with low literacy rates and low school enrolment and attendance. Through Adopt a Village, we’ve engaged many communities across the Mara and built schools, libraries, water projects, latrines, kitchens and teachers’ accommodations. There are now many communities involved in our development and education projects and our team of community outreach and development workers consistently works with active women’s, men’s and youth groups.
In the Masaai Mara region of Kenya, families face a great deal of challenges and clear water is among them. At FTC, we believe that clean water isn’t a luxury – it’s a basic human right. The clean water program of our Adopt A Village model, which also includes education, health care, and alternative income, provides communities with localized clean water sources and sanitations facilities, reducing the spread of diseases and ridding children of their daily treks to collect water, freeing them to attend school. Our clean water and sanitations projects include construction of wells, rain catchment systems, hand-washing stations and latrines. We also work with community members to promote local education in basic hygiene practices and waterborne disease prevention.
Water kiosks are stations which allow community members to access water from boreholes that FTC has dug. Boreholes offer long-term sustainable solutions to drought by drilling up to 200 meters deep and protecting the water source from group contaminants. From there, the water is routed to water kiosks at various points in nearby communities such as the school and central areas accessible to as many people as possible. Water Management Committees are set up in each community to monitor the amount of water available and prevent overuse. The use of a local Water Management Committee also promotes local ownership over the project, increasing the sustainability that FTC always ensures in our projects.
[Please take a look at this video.] It depicts the first successful borehole that we dug in Kenya and Craig truly had no idea that they would strike water at that moment. It’s so much fun to watch and so moving at the same time. Providing access to clean water has the power to change lives!
CEF is a strong ongoing supporter of our work and the three kiosks that will be built in the region surrounding FTC’s newest borehole (construction dates TBD) will impact the communities both immediately and for years to come. The ability to source clean water locally that CEF is providing improves the health of the community members, allows girls to have time to attend school and provides families with the ability to ensure safe and hygienic practices in the home.
The community names for the three kiosks are still to be determined, depending on the exact location of the borehole. However, the Narok South District is a small region of Kenya and the communities in which we operate are all similar in challenges and often share resources because of their proximity to one another. Once the community names are determined, further profiles will be created and sent to CEF.
Kenya at a Glance:
- The average life expectancy is 54.
- 46.1% of the population lives in absolute poverty.
- The average adult literacy rate is 84%.
- The maternal mortality rate is 530 deaths per 100,000 live births (as of 2008).
All my best,
Manager, Donor Relations
Free The Children