Like a lot of third world countries, the people in Mikinduri suffer from the effects of not having access to clean water. The women live a very tough life, doing a lot of heavy manual chores. One daily chore many must do is walk long distances to the river to fetch water, which they take home in five gallon containers on their backs.
We have been working to bring water to the people of the area. It is an expensive and difficult project. But it is a project full of hope. It was our plan to complete several well projects. In 2006, we initiated the digging by hand of the first of four wells. We experienced success with our first well, which now provides water to many families. However, because Mikinduri is in the foothills of Mt. Kenya, volcanic rock is a serious problem.
Unfortunately, the next four wells came up dry and we were advised by our geologist to abandon them. We therefore are implementing our fallback strategy; that of installing pipelines to carry clean spring water from local mountains. The first of these pipelines in Kagwuru had been completed in 2009, with some renovations being required in 2010, as a result of some fires on the mountainside. The next step for Kagwuru in 2011 will be the construction of a 10,000 litre masonry storage tank.The tank is necessary to guarantee that water is available year round even during periods of drought.
Kiguri is the next pipeline location. There had been a poorly constructed pipeline, with the portion crossing the river being destroyed during the spring run off two years ago. The addition of a storage tank was also necessary. This project had been completed in mid 2010.
An important element of all projects, but especially a project which requires followup and maintenance is the establishment of a locally elected management committee, maintenance person, fee collection person and the opening of a bank account. These are in place in both Kagwuru and Kiguru.
Thuuri is the next pipeline location. In this case the distance isn’t as far, however the terrain is more rugged.