Above: A MARGINALIZED COMMUNITY BENEFITS FROM CLEAN WATER PROVIDED BY IAFR.
While visiting Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya), refugee church leaders took us outside of the camp to a settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) near Kakuma town. At the time. an estimated 3,000 men, women and children had settled in this IDP camp after fleeing their homes during post election violence in 2007. In the following years, many have married and had children, increasing the population to 4,500 today. Uprooted in their own country, they have nowhere else to go.
The IDP camp has no water local supply. The people (mostly women and children) have to walk several miles under the burning sun to fetch water in plastic jerry cans. Not only is it hard work, it is also dangerous.
We partnered with National Council of Churches, Kenya (NCCK), as their team in Kakuma has the required technical capacity and local relationships needed to complete the project.
We set the project into motion in 2013, praying that we would complete it by the end of 2020. It proved more complicated than expected, but we were able to complete the project in September 2021. The people there are now benefiting from local access to clean water!
Photo: Tom Albinson with NCCK engineers and staff at the site of the borehole and solar pump in 10/2021.
We set out to raise $135,000 to cover the costs of drilling a well and purchasing a water pump, 4 miles of piping, a reservoir (water tank), borehole cover, security fencing, and a water kiosk (building from which people can fill their receptacles. The cost was high due to the complex geological terrain and the lack of water in the area.
The project encountered countless challenges, including 3 failed boreholes. But the fourth prevailed and turned out to generate nearly two times the volume of water other boreholes in the region produce. And the water is of high quality - a rarity in the region as many boreholes find the saline and mineral content of the water to high, making it unusable.
We thank God for our generous partners that made this project a reality!
October 2021 Update
Tom Albinson, IAFR President, visited Kakuma and saw firsthand the borehole site, the solar water pump, the pipes, reservoir, and water kiosk. People were fetching clean water while he was at the kiosk. They shared how they now have a local supply of clean water and no longer depend on digging deep into dry river beds to fetch water unfit for human consumption. He also learned that because the community now has water, it is likely the government or a development agency will build a school in the area! This project has started a life-giving ripple effect for this community!
January 2021 Update
We struck water from a new borehole in December 2020! In January 2021, government water quality tests confirmed water purity is excellent. The next stages of the project is to put in a solar pump and pipe the water to water kiosks that we will build in the receiving community. We anticipate the project to be completed by the fall of 2021.
When we began this project in 2013, it was because the need for water among the IDP wasn't on the radar of anyone in Kakuma. As we pursued the project, others began to take note of the need. In the summer of 2020, a big international humanitarian agency (OxFam) struck water from a new borehole. Local government officials instructed them to pipe their water to the IDP Camp. So when we struck water, the government instructed us to pipe it to a different needy part of the Kakuma region rather than to the IDP. In the end, we had little choice but to respect the local official's decision and direct the flow from our borehole accordingly.
The important thing to note is that God has answered our prayers for the provision of water in the IDP camp. They should have a local source by the end of 2021. We now see that God was hearing the prayers of others for water as well. We are thankful that we have opportunity to bless the community surrounding the IDP camp and the refugee camp in Kakuma. Not only will it meet a critical need of these friends, it will also help preserve the peace between the host community and the IDP and refugees.
Click here to download a more detailed update concerning this life-giving project.
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