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2 March 2023 - News


A woman fetching water at the Makutano water point. Photo|Dorothy Waweru, Save the Children

By Dominic Ekal and Dorothy Waweru

One hour’s drive north of Turkana County, we arrive at Makutano area. From a distance, we notice community members leading their livestock to Makutano water point while others are carrying jerry cans to fetch water.

 At the water point, we find 35-year-old Alice Aloch with a smile on her face as she fills her jerry cans with this precious commodity that has become scarce with the continuous drought that has ravaged the county consequently drying up all water pans in the area.

Alice tells us that previously, fetching water was a very difficult task. For years, transporting just a single jerry can of water from the nearest water point to the household would take hours under the hot sun.

Now, Alice takes less than 30 minutes to get water to her home. She says that it is because of this water point that her children and her livestock have survived the drought. She adds that bringing water close to the people in Makutano has helped them save time thus enabling parents like her have more time to take care of children at home.

Alice standing beside the water point ready to take home the water she has fetched. 

“I thank Save the Children for bringing water close to us. We no longer have to walk for long distances to access water. I use this water to cook and do other domestic chores. My livestock have also benefitted from this water point and thankfully they have survived the drought,” says Alice.

Dominic Ekai a water technician at Turkana county government says that the partnership between Save the Children and Turkana County has greatly benefitted the people of Makutano area. He says that the rehabilitation of the water point and the installation of solar panels has ensured that the community continues to enjoy a consistent supply of water despite the ongoing drought currently ravaging the county.

The water point at Makutano has not only benefitted residents of the area but also Lomegure health facility, one Early Childhood Education (ECD) center and a secondary school. This has led to the efficient delivery of services in these facilities.

A water committee operates and maintains the water point.  Ann Sepai, the Chairperson of Makutano water point says Save the Children and the county government of Turkana have helped residents of Makutano greatly.

“We were eagerly waiting for water in this area and now that we have it, we are sincerely grateful. Previously, we would buy a single jerry can of water at KSH. 50 (0.4 USD) money that most of us could not afford on a daily basis,” says Ann.

 Save the Children in partnership with the Turkana County Government with funding from Community Jameel has been scaling up interventions to mitigate the drought situation in the county. Some of the interventions include the rehabilitation and solarisation of 8 boreholes. Makutano water point is one of the water points that has been rehabilitated, solarized and protected, making it safe for domestic use and has a water trough for animals. This water point now serves close to 6300 community members, 2 schools and 1 health facility.