Saturday 4th November 2017, Ngiluni Village
Communities living near Kamunyu and Ngiluni villages in Kamungi Conservancy have faced the hardship of a lack of accessible clean water for many years. Traditionally, water is collected by women and children from hand dug wells, or from the Athi river, requiring walks of many kilometres to collect dirty water in 20 litre containers, to be carried back to their homes.
Tsavo Trust recognised the desperate need for easier access to clean water for these communities, and began the Kamungi Water Project. Following discussions with the Kamungi Conservancy committee who represent land owners in the area, Tsavo Trust began to plan the water project, and seek funding.
The water project has a number of elements, beginning with the drilling of a borehole, a costly exercise, with no guarantee of finding water. Luckily, on the second attempt at drilling water was found.
The borehole then required a solar powered water pump, to bring the water to the surface, and for onward distribution. This equipment was then protected from elephant damage by a stone wall.
A 2.5 kilometre trench was then dug, to lay 2 inch heavy duty pipe to carry the clean water to Ngiluni village. At Ngiluni village, a 100,000 litre water tank was constructed, along with a water dispensing kiosk, and a surrounding fence to allow for the initiation of a tree nursery.
The project was finally completed in October 2017, and on the 4th November 2017 the official opening of the new clean water facility took place.
Dignitaries included the Honourable Nzioki wa Makau – Chairman of Tsavo Trust, Chief Paul Luvai, Mr Raphael Kivuva – Chairman of Kamungi Conservancy, Richard Moller – CEO of Tsavo Trust, KWS representative from the KWS Community Department TWNP, and Kamungi Conservancy board members.
Joseph Mutiso the Community Liaison Officer, who organised the event, commenced proceedings at the water facility in Ngiluni Village, inviting a lady elder to say a prayer. There was a great turnout of community members, from the wazee of the village to school children, and mothers with their babies.
Representatives from the community passed on their heartfelt thanks to Richard Moller and Tsavo Trust for recognising their need for clean water, and making a concerted effort to address this major issue through the water project. Aside from their thanks, speakers talked of the effect this new access to clean water will have on so many livelihoods, freeing up time which would have been spent on collecting water, to be used productively elsewhere. They also talked of how they respected and understood the conservation values that Tsavo Trust have shared, and a growing enthusiasm among the community to protect the wild animals that they live among. They spoke of how the women are now turning their attention to income generating projects, and children can spend more time in school.
The children of Ngiluni School performed a number of songs and dances, expressing their thanks, and singing of their excitement at the opportunities that lie ahead for them.
In the middle of proceedings, a heavy rainstorm passed over, and everyone took cover from the rain until it passed over. The final speeches were then given to the community as everyone dried off in the afternoon sun, before everyone was welcomed to a large lunch in the village centre.
Tsavo Trust and Kamungi Conservancy are immensely grateful to the generous donors who have made this project possible.