Water is Life/ Maji ni Maisha

Hey Hey!

Project updates! Late this week the funding for my latrine project was released to me so I am hoping to get things kick started with the school on Monday!

I have also started another project I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I’m a volunteer in the “public health” sector of Kenya Peace Corps and while there are so many health issues here (malaria, diarrhea, HIV) my favorite is water and sanitation because I think it makes a difference in all of those other areas. I think access to clean water and good hygiene can make a big impact on people’s lives. So, that being said there is a great NGO called Water Charity that gives grants to Peace Corps Volunteers doing all types of water projects.

I applied to help a school in my community get a rainwater catchement tank. Because there is no infrastructure for running water access in rural Kenya people either collect the water from nearby sources like rivers, streams, lakes, springs, or boreholes/wells if they’re there OR they might have a rainwater catchement system. Personally, I have the little boys on my compound bring me water from a protected spring near my house and they get candy in return :) Or if its raining hard enough I collect water in buckets outside my house. On my to do list before I finish my service is carrying water on my head! Rainwater, boreholes, and protected springs are clean sources of water although it should still be treated but the rest are not so much and lead to child mortality and the spread of disease.

Also water usage is a big deal here because for most people getting water is an exhausting task. For example, I use 3 pitchers full of water (4 if I have to wash my hair) to bathe….how many do you think go in a bathtub or a shower in the US? There’s a joke I’ve posted on one of my previous blogs: Some say the glass is half empty, some say the glass if half full, a Peace Corps volunteer says, I could take a bath in that! Also, I treat all of my water so I don’t get sick and I have a special filter I use to make drinking water. However, many people don’t and they suffer from things like diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and death.

All the above applies to schools. Schools need water for drinking, cleaning, and if they provide lunch, also cooking. They rely on students to carry it from whatever distance there everyday. I happen to live in an extremely rainy and green part of Kenya so a rainwater catchement system is perfect! The tank being installed holds up to 30,000 liters alleviating the students need to carry water and providing a cleaner source than their current oneĀ  (an unprotected spring) and providing stored water during the dry season. I am really excited about this project.

Now that I’ve told you all about it you can check it out for my information on the project on this website and please consider making a donation to my project to get it underway!


PS: I will be in Kansas City in 52 days!!!!!!!

About elizabethmatthew

Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Kenya
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