Water is essential for survival. It is the most basic of the basic needs. Without water, there are many things that we can’t do efficiently, including remaining alive. In short, it is a fundamental ingredient for life.
Even so, it is unfortunate that in the 21st century so many people cannot access clean water, thereby hindering them from doing a lot of things. Thanks to Safaricom Foundation’s initiative, Ndoto Zetu, Kenya is making slow but steady progress in this sector.
The students of Kwakulu Primary School in Machakos are beneficiaries of Ndoto Zetu. For years, they would have to walk a long distance to fetch water. This meant that at times they would miss classes. Other students would pass by a river to fetch water in jerricans, and by the time they got to school they were late for class and ended up lagging behind.
To make things worse, the water was sometimes unclean. Students would drink it and end up suffering from amoeba and other illnesses. One day, their prayers were answered when Ndoto Zetu donated 175,000 shillings towards funding a water tank. They can now access clean, treated water.
Peter Mutune saw his community suffering, and he vowed to change that. The students at Kaluluini Primary School would have to search far and wide just to access drinking and cooking water. With the only unreliable source being a neighbouring school’s borehole, students were repeatedly forced to carry water from home to tend to their needs.
Peter then contacted Ndoto Zetu and requested their help. He succeeded. Ndoto Zetu donated a 10,000-litre tank to the school. The tank now serves not only the school but also the neighbouring community of Matuu in Machakos. Students are able to focus on learning, now that they don’t have to spend time looking for clean water.
The narrative becomes worse at ABC Katatha Maweu Primary School. The Headteacher, Beatrice Makau, says that the only water source contained Bilharzia and would affect the students terribly. Machakos being one of the drier parts of the country, the students at the school would have to walk long distances to access water. They would get to school extremely tired.
The school administration then applied to Ndoto Zetu which supplied two 10,000 litre tanks. Diana Mueni, a pupil at the school, says that she can now spend more time studying instead of fetching water from the river. The water tanks have helped the school and the entire village.
But it’s not just schools that have benefitted from Ndoto Zetu. Ndoto Zetu has helped farmers to access clean water too! A self-help group of seven farmers in Ol Donyo Sabuk, Machakos, wanted to improve farming in their area. Their biggest challenge was the lack of resources, including rainwater, to help grow crops in a semi-arid area.
Ndoto Zetu worked with them by donating a water pump, pipes, seedlings, and fertilizers. Charles Kyalo says that their harvest will now double up because they have the right resources. The team praised Ndoto Zetu and Safaricom at large for helping them to develop their business.
Lastly, self-help groups in Machakos county have also benefitted from Ndoto Zetu. For Earth Dam Self Help Group, Ndoto Zetu supplied them with a bigger Diesel water pump that is 16 Horsepower. Before that, they would hire smaller generators that could only take water 5 kilometres from the water source. Therefore they could only water their crops in turns as it was not possible to carry out irrigation at the same time. The bigger generator from Ndoto Zetu undoubtedly made their dreams come true.
The fact that water is essential is undebatable. Access to clean water can help a whole community rise out of poverty. Access to clean water has improved education systems, and villages have been able to survive through environmental and economic problems. Thanks to Ndoto Zetu, some of the students of Machakos county no longer have to walk long distances to fetch water from the river. They can now access clean water. Bilharzia, amoeba, and other water-borne diseases are less common. Farmers now have more water, and they are able to water their crops and reap a better harvest. Truly, water has been the secret ingredient all along.
If you wish to partner with Ndoto Zetu for a community or school project kindly send a written submission through Safaricom Foundation’s Ndoto Zetu website or visit any Safaricom Retail Shop and fill in an application form for a chance to have your community dream realized. Successful participants will be contacted by the Safaricom Foundation through 0722 000 000.