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Blog / Water On Tap For Renja School

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Posted on 12th March 2015

We drive to Renja School on Kano Plains near Kisumu in Western Kenya, a dry flat land. The school leaders greet us and make speeches to the school community. “This is a team effort”, I respond, “Thanks to the many donors who support WellBoring, and to the team who installed the borehole”.

Then it is time to raise the bar of the pump - "I don't know if water will come ... or if I will be strong enough, I'm only a Mzungu", the Swahili word for a European. The children laugh. Having lifted the bar I ask them to shout "1, 2, 3". I plunge the bar down. Water pours. "I declare this borehole open!" Cheering breaks out. This is a matter of life and death. 

Nigel Trying The Pump

Nigel Trying The Pump

I was in Kenya for a client, creating an opportunity to see some of our recently completed work. Our new friends in GWAKO (Ground Water Abstraction Kenya Outreach) drive us to waterless schools. We visit Nyatege and Okiro and press on to Disi, but the road is paved with loose rocks. Our driver, John, steers between the rocks, until bang! The left front axle is stuck on a big rock. John gets a jack out of the boot. The car rises. A local offers a hoe. The car’s not quite high enough, we push some more stones and the car comes free. I push the rock off the road.

As the next school is a mere 100 metres away, we drive on. We find a way off the stone road with a further bang, and stop outside Disi School. I get out. The rear nearside tyre is flat. John gets to work. We interview the school leadership team. Without clean water health cannot be maintained. 

The Current Water Supply!

The Current Water Supply!

Even though we are short of time John insists we visit one more school. Migingo School is vibrant at 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon. Many of the 900 pupils, aged 5 to 13, are milling about. Joshua, the Head, says "We have longed for water; we have only two tanks, we go to a river, but it’s dirty. Children have to be rushed up to a health centre, with typhoid, cholera and malaria".

What difference will water make? "Once water is here the health of the learners will change, they can get water to wash their hands, we can use water to prepare porridge; water is life".  We shake hands. I’m driven to Kisumu airport to fly to Nairobi at the end of one of the most moving days of my life.

Nigel Linacre, Founding Trustee 

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