Eight mile trek for water soon to be history

Soon, community members will experience better health and spend significantly less time collecting water. This will save Mwinthya’s family time and money, which could allow her to go back to school. In addition, Mwinthya’s mom hopes her husband will build a pit latrine for their family.

Mwinthya is a girl of almost 10 years old. She is the fourth born of eight siblings; the youngest three are eight-month-old triplets. Mwinthya and her family live in a rural area of Kyuso District, Kenya. Kyuso is a very arid part of Kenya that has been suffering from climate change and drought for the past few years. Mwinthya is supposed to go to school at Kavaani Primary School about three miles away from her home in rural Kenya. However, her mother says, “We just can’t afford the nursery school fee and enough food for the family if Mwinthya does not help take care of the triplets.” Therefore, Mwinthya dropped out of school so she and her older brother could babysit while their mother takes part in a “Food for Work” program over a mile away from their home.

Mwinthya’s family settled at Kavaani village five years ago. The family is poor with little means of income for basic provisions like food and clothing. Every three days, they fetch their water approximately eight miles away at a man-made earthen dam that catches runoff when it rains. The family then uses donkeys to ferry the water home. Mwinthya’s father often works as a casual laborer in the village to support his family, but the mouths are many and sometimes his income is just not enough to make ends meet.

Although Water.org and ADRA Kenya’s project is just beginning, the community members are ready for change. The project includes drilling a new borehole well for the community, constructing community latrines, providing health education, and building the capacity of local leaders and government. Soon, community members will experience better health and spend significantly less time collecting water. This will save Mwinthya’s family time and money, which could allow her to go back to school. In addition, Mwinthya’s mom hopes her husband will build a pit latrine for their family.

Capital: Nairobi
Population of 46.7 million
17.3 million lack access to safe water
32.7 million lack access to improved sanitation
43% of the total population lives below the national poverty line
Kenya