One Year Later and the Impact of Clean,
Fresh Water at Rapha Community Center!
Last February, Eleos Project traveled to central Kenya to oversee the drilling for a new borehole at the Rapha Community Center, near Nyahururu, Kenya. We hope the story and pictures below tell how life has changed over the past year for the Rapha Community now that they have clean, fresh water!
"A simple thank you will never be enough to express our gratitude for the gift of clean water at Rapha. Life has changed for our community since the well was drilled and the solar pump was installed. Everyone drinks clean water, even our animals! And never again will we be dependent on the unpredictable weather patterns of East Africa. We have begun to irrigate our fields and greenhouse which means our crops will have abundant water year-round. We will be able to grow food for our community and grow additional crops to sell to earn income for the Center.
It’s difficult to believe that we survived for so many years, fetching water from the local dam, or paying to have water delivered. There were many challenges, but they truly did make our community stronger, and helped us to have a real appreciation for the incredible blessing of clean water. From everyone at Rapha Community Center, thank you to all who donated, who volunteered to raise money and to the Eleos Project for managing the work from start to finish."
See the complete journey in the video below!
Jennifer Musick Wright, Founder & Executive Director
Revisiting Rapha Community Center by Eleos Project Director, Mark Purington
In November 2017, I was able to travel to Nyahururu in Central Kenya to take in the impact of having clean, fresh water at the Rapha Community Center. Rapha supports vulnerable children in this area of Kenya and provides a safe and loving environment, something most of these children have never had. In February 2017, a new borehole was drilled to 200 meters and now provides 2,250 liters of water an hour. The impact has been shockingly amazing! Before the borehole was drilled, dirty water had to be collected every day from a dam/pond quite far from the center by the students. This task took several hours out of the student’s day. This time could have been spent studying and helping maintain the faculties at the center which included the school and dormitories. Because the students and staff were suffering every day at Rapha due to lack of water, it was not hard for me to see that Eleos Project could help. I just never imagined the impact this decision would have.
The biggest impact I witnessed when I was there in November was now they can farm year-round on the 22 acres that make up the center. Kenya typically has two growing seasons that are dependent on 1-2 annual rains. Because of this you are limited in your farming efforts if you do not have a year-round source of water for irrigating. Because Rapha now has water, I saw an abundance of food at the farm. So much food in fact that Rapha has to sell a good portion to the surrounding community. The income from this allows Rapha to buy seeds and fertilizer for the next planting. Sustainability is the name of the game if you want to succeed and this example shows what can be accomplished when you have water. Before Rapha had water, they had to buy food locally in shops to feed all the children. Now they only purchase food from the shops that the farm does not provide. Because they sell produce to the surrounding community they now have the funds to purchase these items. In addition, the school reported that they have a much lower incidence of student absence at the school due to clean, safe drinking water. Before the borehole was drilled, students were constantly getting sick due to not having a safe source of water to drink. The amazing impact at Rapha is a very good example of how water changes and transforms people and communities!
Clean, Fresh Water for Kathonzweni Community in Southeast Kenya
Due to political violence from the botched presidential election in August and the rerun in October we were delayed in returning to Kenya last year and had to wait until November to oversee the drilling of two new water wells. Typically, we cannot drill this time of year due to seasonal heavy rains. During our first week in Kenya we started getting worried because it was raining every day. But then suddenly the rains stopped long enough for drilling equipment to be mobilized to the two sites where we needed to drill. The first site was for a village called Kathonzweni in southeast Kenya. This water well was sponsored by All For Kidz in Lynnwood, Washington. We started a partnership with All for Kidz in 2016 after they drilled an unsuccessful well in Kenya and needed help to determine where to drill the next well successfully.
Using satellite photos and Global Positioning System (GPS) data of the area where they wanted to drill we were able to pinpoint the next drilling location all the way from here in Colorado! Fortunately, when the drilling took place they struck water where we indicated for them to drill. Everyone involved in the project was pleased...especially us! Now All For Kidz contacts us whenever they are ready to drill a new water well in Kenya. The well at Kathonzweni was a result of this new partnership. In addition to finding drilling locations that have a higher success ratio, we also supervise drilling of new water wells. Since we had picked the drilling location at Kathonzweni it was great that we could be there and oversee all the drilling and confirm we picked the location wisely. Fortunately for everyone the drilling was successful, and the community now has a new water well that produces 1,500 liters per hour.
Clean, Fresh Water for Mukuyuni Community in Central Kenya
The second well we drilled in November was for a community called Mukuyuni. We started working with this community in 2015 and asked them to come together as a community to help fund part of the drilling phase. Fortunately, the community was able to mobilize a fundraiser and raised $4,000 dollars to help pay for the community’s portion of the new well. Because the community was so vested financially in the project it was easy for us to raise the additional funds needed to start drilling. This well was a complete success and now produces 3,300 liters of water an hour. There were many challenges in this project as the rains returned in late November when the drilling equipment arrived at this site. Moving the drilling equipment in knee-deep mud to the location for drilling went well into the night. Fortunately, good water will be available for this community for many years! We are in the process of installing a pump at this well.
Life has changed for our community since the well was drilled and the solar pump was installed.
Before the borehole was drilled, dirty water had to be collected every day from a dam/pond quite far from the center by the students. This task took several hours out of the student’s day.