Water is Life - Kenya

Newark Rotary's district grant project to supply the generator and pump for a water well in Kenya is going just fine and we see light at the end of the tunnel. Since last June, we spoke to nine Rotary clubs in the district and contacted another half dozen by telephone to find seven financial partner clubs and four individual Rotarians to reach our target goal of $16,300 (including the grant). The drill rig will be set up by the end of January and progress on the ground in Kenya, under the oversight of Water is Life Kenya based in Newark, Delaware, should move quickly thereafter. The project final report will be submitted by June 1 to the district grant committee for approval before funds are spent. Finally, when the well becomes operational there will be a celebration online with Rotary and Kenya partners! Stay tuned to join us. 

With Special Thanks to our partners: Newark Delaware Rotary Club Newark Star Rotary Club, Camden-Wyoming Rotary Club, Dover Colonial Rotary Club- Dover Delaware, Dover Capital City Rotary, Dover Downtown Rotary Club, Rotary of Kent Island, Rotary Club of St. Michaels, MOT Rotary Club, Rotary District 7630, Project Leader Jerry Alan Bilton, and individual contributors: DG John Mager, DGND Ken Montville, Michael Friedberg, Sue & Johnathan Simon.7/7/2024 District Article:

Last year, Rotarians from across Rotary District 7630, led by Newark Delaware Rotary Club, raised $16,350 to fund the water pump and power source at the Lositeti Community Borehole in southern Kenya. The borehole was drilled in February, reaching 152 meters (almost 500 feet).

Because Lostieti is water scarce, the best location to drill (as determined by our hydrogeological survey) was a bit away from Lositeti's central meeting place. Along with our water engineer, our team devised a plan to pump the water over a mile away from the borehole to a holding tank, water point, and water trough for animals.
To get the clean water so far away, a pipeline would need to connect the borehole to the water tank. The Lositeti community contributed the digging of the trench for the pipeline.

For water to reach such a long distance, a strong pump and reliable power source is paramount to project success and sustainability. Thanks to this ambitious Rotary project, the borehole was equipped with a strong water pump (suspended over 300 feet down in the borehole) and 30 540 kilowatt solar panels were installed to generate power. The solar panels will be safeguarded from wild animals (like nearby elephants) with an electric fence, which also funded by the project.
In just a few days, the pipeline connection will be complete and clean water will be FLOWING at Lositeti. The lives of community members will be changed forever.

The Rotarians who supported this project truly put "Service Above Self" for the Lositeti community. We are so proud to be your partners!

2/22/24 Lostieti Update:

We have drilled down to 152 meters (498 feet) and are happy with the water flow. The water is clear, not salty, and very tasty--all promising things! We will do the test pumping (which consists of 24 hours of continuous pumping to determine capacity) this coming Monday/Tuesday. This will move us closer to a quote for the pump and generator.

As the drilling took place, our team went around and conducted interviews. We learned that the round trip of fetching water was (still is) an average of 6 hours round-trip. Women travel to a dried up seasonal river bed and "scoop" to get water -- like kids digging in sand on the beach. About 1/3 of the time, there isn't any water at this site, so they have to keep moving and scooping elsewhere. Other times, there were wild animals who either occupied the watering holes or left droppings to contaminate the water. It is also very congested with people.

We also learned that this community is in very bad straits after the drought. There's very little livestock around as many have died. Our friend Michael had 60 cows before the drought--now he has 3. People have very little money, with maize being the only food many people eat every day.

All of this to say--when the water was coming out of the ground, there were a lot of happy faces. This project will truly transform their lives. Not only that, but it will undoubtedly be "Water Plus" -- in the coming months/years, we will surely be training their livestock keepers on how to manage their assets, boost their economy, and make the most of their newly-available water.

2/19/24 UPDATE: On Monday, February 19, 2024, the drill rig reached the site in Kenya. After a few days of drilling, the work is going extremely well. Clean water has been reached with a good flow rate. Deeper drilling will ensure water during long stretches of drought.