This Week in Kenya: World Water Day 2022 Report

This Week in Kenya: World Water Day 2022 Report

World Water Day Projects – March 22, 2022

World Water Day is on 22 March every year. It is an annual observance, started in 1993, that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water.

100 Humanitarians International started water projects in Kenya in 2017, when we built three rainwater capture systems with families in rural Kenya. The idea was to create a system to capture rainwater from their iron sheet roofs. 

Each system was successful, and to this day provide water for the families when it rains, as well as neighbors who are in need. 

The 3 Ways We are Helping with Water

In honor of World Water Day, we decided to work on 3 different water projects that would have a big impact in the communities we serve. 

1. 200 water tanks, 100 liters each, were delivered to families in Bomet by Anita Byegon.
2. A spring preservation project was started in Western Kenya that will support 300 people. Facilitated by Christine Sakali.
3. We began fundraising for a deep borehole to be drilled on the Maasai Mara, providing water for 25 villages in the surrounding area.

Clean Water is an Ongoing Challenge

The water challenges are constant, but we have a plan to create change, one person, one family, and one community at a time. You can help! Just click donate, and choose an amount that you want to donate, or become a monthly donor and make an ongoing impact.

Creating Clean Water Solutions in Kenya

Creating Clean Water Solutions in Kenya

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!

The Challenge of Food Insecurity

The Challenge of Food Insecurity

The Problem – 1 out of 7 people do not have enough food to eat

People all over the world are struggling with food insecurity. They lack the nutrition they need for brain development as children. As a result, poverty continues from generation to generation.

Imagine if you were in a situation where every day you wondered where your next meal would come from. Even worse, how are you going to feed your children? This is the reality for almost a billion people around the world.

When we started working with families, they shared with us that their number one challenge is not enough food. It’s a daily struggle that is never-ending. There is constant depression, anxiety, and stress that goes along with chronic hunger.

The Possibility – Teach a Family How to Grow Their Own Food

When we first began working with families, we focused on teaching them square foot gardening. The first year we built 21 raised garden beds. A few of them worked, but there is a continuous water challenge in Kenya, so often the vegetables would dry out. Pests were also a challenge.

Because Kenya is experiencing deforestation, we didn’t want to keep contributing to cutting down trees to make the garden boxes. One of our community directors was introduced to the Garden Tower, a mesh plastic vertical bag with holes that could grow plants.

They required less water than the garden boxes, and would grow more vegetables in less space. We decided to try it as a possible solution.

The Plan – Build Simple Garden Towers to Increase Nutrition

In June 2018, we took an expedition team to Kenya with 21 people. Most of them were teenagers, so we decided we would build the first garden towers at Kotolian School in Nkareta, a rural community in Narok County. The school had started a few years before, and had just expanded to Secondary School, so they were in need of a better way to provide lunch to students and teachers.

We then built garden towers with one of the families we had previously visited with garden boxes. We wanted to compare how they would work side by side.

Finally, we created a plan to build a community garden where families could gather and work together.

The Promise – Expand to More Families Each Week

As you can see from the pictures, the garden towers were successful. We knew that we needed to reach more families, and at $20 a garden tower, it was more cost effective than the garden boxes. It also didn’t require cutting down trees.

We made a promise that when we came back, we would build garden towers with 10 families in the community. Did we keep our promise? Yes, in ways that we couldn’t possibly imagine!

Expedition Stories: Becky Mackintosh Goes to Kenya

Expedition Stories: Becky Mackintosh Goes to Kenya

Becky Mackintosh: Author, Speaker, and Mom of Seven

“Do you want to go to Kenya?” 

That’s the question my friend Heidi Totten, founder of non-profit 100 Hundred Humanitarians International asked me in 2015. “Duh! YES! Sign me up!”  My first trip to Kenya was in November of 2016, it was life changing to the core! Every day, I said “My husband Scott would love this!”  Upon returning home, I quickly signed us up to go together with Heidi in 2017.  I was confident that once Scott met the people, took part in the projects, saw hundreds of African animals that he’d be hooked! And I was right!! Scott and I now lead the Share the Love team –we utilize his construction skills; therefore, we are called the “Building Team.” We build buildings and build relationships as we work side by side the people in the communities. 

One of 100 Humanitarians rule of thumb is “Families in Kenya don’t need a handout, they need a hand up.”  Therefore, we go a bit deeper by joining hands and teaching each other. We teach families how to leverage their resources through economic development and self-reliance. They teach us about love, gratitude, simplicity, and joy. 

Our first year as Team Leads, Scott and I led a team of fourteen. Our main project that trip was to build a Training Center made from earth bags in a remote village in Nkareta. (Earthbags are sandbags only filled with dirt.) The Training Center would be used as a sewing center  and a mentoring gathering place for literacy and other self-reliance skills.  Upon our arrival the foundation for the Training Center had been dug and the foundation laid.  Our team divided into groups and eagerly went right to work; digging dirt, filling the bags, stapling, and transporting the bags to the building site where a group of men set the bags in their proper place where they were leveled and secured with a line of barbed wire to secure them in place.  

We worked tirelessly for days. It was so rewarding to see the progress and each day more and more villagers showing up to help.  When our time in Kenya had come to an end, the villagers continued working on the Training Center.  As it neared completion another team fundraised for sewing machines and trained the women how to sew!  The final touches of painting the inside and outside of Training Center was saved for our Share the Love February 2020 expedition team. It was breathtaking and rewarding to see the project from start to finish. 

The Training Center has been a life changing financial recourse for their community. The women are able to sew and sell school uniforms to neighboring schools which provides them with the needed funds to send their children to school, which brings life changing possibilities. 

So I ask you, “Do you want to go to Kenya?” 

The Nkareta Training Center