The Problem – 1 out of 3 people do not have access to clean water

Clean water access is one of the biggest challenges the world faces. 1 in 3 people aren’t able to get enough clean water every day. In Kenya, where there are consistent droughts, the problem compounds. Many people get their water from springs that are in the ground, but when the springs dry out, there are no options.

In other areas, women walk up to 6 hours a day to fill their jerry cans with water, putting themselves at considerable risk of rape, being attacked by animals such as elephants and buffalo, or collapsing in the heat.

We met with a young mother with a toddler and a newborn, who had the added burden of needing to find someone to watch her children ever time she had to get water. She was about a mile and a half away, and has to walk to a spring where elephants also gather for water. Elephants are one of the biggest killers in Kenya, so she couldn’t put her children at risk.

We heard this story over and over again on the Maasai Mara, where we have been working with families since 2015.

The Possibility – 3 Options for Bringing Clean Water Closer to Families

We identified three ways that we could bring water closer to families, but it was going to take a lot of coordination and collaboration on the part of our teams in Kenya. First, our community directors identify springs that can be preserved. A spring preservation project consists of building a concrete containment system, with spouts for the water to come out when complete. This separates the water from the animals, which often are the reasons that people get water born illnesses.

Second, we identify families that have the capability of capturing rainwater from the roofs of their huts. They also can store extra water when they gather from their local sources, reducing the amount of time that they spend walking back and forth.

Third, we identify locations where we can bring in big rigs and drill deep boreholes for water. This is the most expensive option, but has the biggest impact on a community, because they can access water, even during a drought.

The Plan – Assess Families, Communities, and Options for Clean Water

Different communities need different solutions. For example, in Bomet, there are many springs that can be preserved, along with the skilled labor to accomplish the preservations quickly. We identify one spring each month that we can work on, and ask for donations to get the project done.

On the Maasai Mara, there are very few springs. Families and villages are far from each other, so drilling boreholes needs to be strategic based on the population and flow of walking traffic. We chose the option of fundraising $100 for a 1000 liter water tank for a family, with a goal of reaching as many families as possible who can capture rainwater.

When looking at areas for drilling boreholes, we want to make sure they are in an area where women will be able to access the water safely. Our goal is to partner with organizations focused on clean water, who are also working to identify locations where the boreholes are needed.

The Promise – Ten Families for Each Expedition Team

In order to stay consistent in our efforts to reach families, each of our expedition teams have a goal to raise $1000 for water tanks. They then have the opportunity to deliver them to the families when they visit. The teams can create their own fundraisers, and individuals can as well!

We have even hosted Walk to Water campaigns, where people in the U.S. track their walking for 6 weeks as they ask for donations.

Would you like to host your own fundraiser to help with our Clean Water projects? Just click the button!