Giving Update: Matsakha Community, Mbakaya Spring

October, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Matsakha Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Medline Baraza. Thank you!

Giving Update: Matsakha Community, Mbakaya Spring

“As I entered the compound of Mama Medline, joy was all over her face,” shared Field Officer Karen Maruti, following her recent visit to Mbakaya Spring in Matsakha Community.

“The compound was neater and the utensils neatly arranged on the dishrack was also a clear indication that there was [a] change in this community as a result of the health and hygiene training. No lines were seen at the spring as the discharge is good and fills the 20-liter container within 39 seconds. This can only be attributed to the protection of the spring.”

The community members have overcome some early challenges in the year since Mbakaya Spring’s protection. Kenya faced one of the driest seasons on record last year. During that time, the clay work within Mbakya Spring collapsed, leaving community members without water. The community members immediately reached out to our team for assistance.

We excavated the spring, identified the problem, and repaired it immediately. Now people in Matsakha Community have a source of water that is better able to withstand the next unexpected dry season.

We feel this is an excellent example of this community’s commitment to ensuring the longevity of their spring, and their willingness to maintain open channels of communication with our team when they experience a challenge.

Field Officer Karen asked community members how this project and the associated training has impacted their lives over the last 12 months.

“Life was so sweet with clean drinking water trickling down Mbakaya Spring, but all this was short-lived when the drought set in…But now we are happy that [your team] moved swiftly to change the situation and now we have water flowing again as if there was no drought,” said Mama Medline Baraza, secretary of the water committee.

“Since the protection of Mbakaya spring, our lives never remained the same.”

“In the past, we had no choice but to drink dirty water from the unprotected spring. The catchment was also wide and deep and hence the big hole was so risky, especially for the children. We lived with fear about our children falling into the big hole. Access was also a challenge, especially during the rainy season.”

“After protection, all these fears were a thing of the past as we have clean water and we can access the water even during the rainy season. We no longer fear to send our children to fetch water as the spring has beautiful and wide steps to reach the spring. We love drinking water from the spring as [we] no longer fear outbreaks of diarrhea. Last but not least, I have built my house with this water and the construction was easy as the masons had water close by.”

Mama Medline with Field Officer Karen join hands at the spring

15-year-old Vincent Ayeka also shared his thoughts on how the spring protection has changed his life as a young person and student in the Matsakha community.

“I am so happy that with the protection of this spring I have enough time to study as I no longer go searching for clean drinking water. It’s clean and accessible and we feel blessed,” he said.

“Thanks for changing our lives.”

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