Community water points provides safe water for families
By Marion Kwambai
Three years ago, all the boreholes in Loreamatet village in Turkana County became dry due to drought experienced in the area as a result of climate change. Since then, villagers of Loreamatet faced a severe water problem. This community was forced to rely on River Turkwel, which is about 7 kilometers away for water for their livestock and for other domestic uses such as bathing and washing clothes. To access drinking water, they would use a borehole at Nangorochot, a nearby village.
In 2018, Save the Children, partnered with the local community and the county government of Turkana to seek a permanent solution to the water problem in Loreamatet area. After holding consultations with the community, they concluded that the most viable option was to construct a pipeline from Nangorochot village borehole to Loreamatet. The communities of the two villages were engaged in digging the pipeline at subsidized rate. They raised a water tank, a community abstraction point and also constructed an animal drinking trough within the village.Edaan, 28, lives in this village with her two daughters and together with other villagers they said that they have immensely benefitted from this water point.
“I would take about 4hrs to walk to and from the nearby village to ensure my family has adequate drinking water. During the rainy season, we would use water from hand-dug shallow wells burrowed at a nearby riverbed. However this water required considerable quantities of water treatment chemicals to make it safe for human consumption,” said Edaan through a translator.
Edaan said that the trips to the river bed were also dangerous since they frequently got attacked by wild animals very early in the morning and late in the evening. They had to fetch water at midmorning but this meant they reach their homes late.
“We also got water borne diseases because we would share these water points with livestock and other animals. My children would frequently suffer from diarrhoea because of the contaminated water from the riverbed but now we drink clean water and my children are healthy and happy,” she said.
She also said that she lost most of her animals due to the effects of last year’s drought and she has now bought two goats and she hopes her herd will increase in size since the community now has adequate water both for their use and for their animals.
“Since I don’t have to make long trips to the riverbed anymore, I spend quality family time with my children. The level of hygiene in my household has also greatly improved. Previously my children and I would get skin diseases because we would prioritize household use of the water to bathing,” she added
Today the community is enjoying clean water.
In addition, 20 members of mother-to-mother support groups have joined hands to operate a home garden adjacent to the water tank where they grow drought resistant and highly nutritious dense crops.