Water for Leah's Farm

Leah lives in Ngawene village on the outskirts of Maua town with her two children – a daughter (25) and a son (18). Leah, pictured second from the right with ECLOF and Water.org staff, is a secondary level graduate and also holds an accountancy technician certificate. Leah is 50 years old, married, and runs a cereals and charcoal selling business at Ngewene market and also cultivates bananas, vegetables, and tomatoes on her half-acre parcel of land.

Leah is a member of Ngawene Hope self-help group (SHG) and has been an ECLOF (a Water.org microfinance partner) client since 2012. She accessed her first loan of KES 30,000 in September 2012 – for a water connection on her farmland.

Leah first heard of ECLOF’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program when the WASH officer attended her group meeting. She was also a member of a community water project comprised of 201 members who had constructed a gravity-fed water system for both domestic and irrigation use. Leah needed money to connect her farm to the system which is why she took out a loan with ECLOF.

The Water connection system at Leah’s farm.

Leah now irrigates her crops throughout the year. “The water is now regular and during the dry season, when the prices are high I earn KES 20,000 a month from khat alone on this small plot of land.” The water is regular and although the community water project members do not pay any fees for the monthly usage, they are expected to provide labor when required to repair leakages and remove silt on the dam upstream.

This experience with WaterCredit has contributed to improved income for her family and has triggered Leah’s interest in accessing a household water storage facility in the near future.

This success story was made possible by a generous grant from The MasterCard Foundation.

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