A Year Later: Mbindi Hand-Dug Well

December, 2017

I decided to start farming using water from the project, and I managed to grow spinach, kales and tomatoes. These vegetables we used to consume at home with my family and better yet, I could sell.

A Year Later: Mbindi Hand-Dug Well

A year ago, generous donors helped build a hand-dug well for the Mbindi Self-Help Group in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partners Titus Mbithi and Mutheu Mutune with you.

Even though it’s only been a year, many things have changed since the installation of this hand-dug well. The distance to water has greatly decreased from three kilometers to less than a kilometer for every single member of Mbindi Self-Help Group. The water has enabled them to establish a tree nursery where they have planted fruit trees such as avocado, mango, pawpaw, and timber. Once these trees mature and start bearing fruit, this community will be one of the only suppliers of fruit to the local market. The fruits will also be consumed at the family level, boosting their health and nutrition. The project has helped them establish vegetable plots at their homes, which provide them with various vegetables such as kales, sukuma wiki, capsicum, tomatoes ,and so on. The number of meals taken per day has increased from two to three for many families.

And thanks to the surplus of water an adjacent sand dam provides, this hand-dug well is able to pump clean, safe water from the catchment area.

Two young ladies fetch water at Mbindi’s hand-dug well during our visit there.

We met Regina Kilonzo and her son, 17-year-old David Kilonzo, to talk about how their lives have changed.

Mrs. Kilonzo said, “My children no longer waste time like before going to look for water for domestic use, because we have a water source near us which is clean and safe for drinking. Their hygiene has also improved because they now wash their clothes anytime they want, and they take a bath daily. Previously, one could not take a bath daily because we used to ration water. This made us stay and look dirty and uncomfortable when in the midst of other people. Our self-esteem was very low, and especially my children could not perform well because of the mockery they could receive from other children at school. We are thankful and grateful for this project because things like diseases have reduced and we can now afford three meals a day which come from our small plots in our home. I won’t fail to mention the improved performance for my children, who no longer waste time going to fetch water but rather utilize the time to read and do their homework.”

Mrs. Kilonzo proudly stands in front of all of the things she’s planted for kitchen use.

David Kilonzo added his own story, saying “After I finished my primary school last year, my parents didn’t have enough money to send me to a technical school. I decided to start farming using water from the project, and I managed to grow spinach, kales and tomatoes. These vegetables we used to consume at home with my family and better yet, I could sell. I got 1,500 shillings, which I saved and bought seedlings for planting next time. Our nutrition has improved and we no longer lack food to eat. My mother used to borrow food from neighbors, but ever since the project came here we plant things like cassava, sweet potatoes and such type of crops which are highly nutritional and we are now a healthy family. I am hoping that the next vegetable farming I’ll do will give me a good income for my school fees and also for supporting my siblings. The project has enabled us to establish a tree nursery with almost 700 trees which we will sell towards the short rains and the income we will use to establish another nursery and cater for other family activities. The tree survival rate compared to before has improved, and the environment generally has improved. I also made bricks which I hope to start constructing my own house soon!”

Field Officer Mutheu Mutune interviews David Kilonzo.

This project has helped the community in an extraordinary way when it comes to drinking water. Previously, they had to travel up to five hours one way to find safe water in the highlands. This community has also used their nearby water source for farming and planting trees to the fullest extent. They have dug terraces for their farming land, which they were trained to do. This has helped them conserve their soil and water in general. The yields from their farms have improved, and they are expected to improve even more as time goes by.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

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