Kirima SpringA story of bringing water closer home.
The break of dawn each day in Maparasha, Kajiado County saw several women head out to the watering spring kilometers away to fetch water. Some had their donkeys in tow while others would carry the 20 litre jerry cans on their backs. The water here was dirty; infused with soil, leaves, sticks and animal droppings. Some monkeys would even jump in for a swim!
The women scooped water with jugs, trying to avoid the debris with little success. The plastic containers were just as discolored as the water. And they had to hurry; for soon the livestock would arrive to have their share.
The donkeys, cows and goats would push and shove in the shallow watering pan leaving it even dirtier and ridden in their droppings.
Women used the water for their household chores; it’s all they had. The spring was the only source of water for the 816 residents of Maparasha as well as the over 350 pupils of Lele Primary School. Expert tests revealed that the water was contaminated with bacteria. Cases of cholera were rampant.
For years, this was the life of the residents on Maparasha. The story is now different thanks to WASH alliance partners who were able to modify the spring by forming a barrier between the surface water and the clean spring water. The water is collected in a storage reservoir from where it is piped to households and the rest led to a dam used to water livestock. The project also benefits wild animals and the surrounding vegetation.
Every spring user pays 500 shillings a month. The Wash committee is trained to maintain and repair the pipes to encourage full participation.
Life has changed drastically for the residents of Maparasha village. The women now engage in the small scale farming to help feed their families. More children are enrolling and staying in school.
With improved hygiene, cholera is now a thing of the past and this community can look forward to a healthier future.