Water and Sanitation

SEED Samburu realized two boreholes in remote communities.

Clean water and water nearby improves health and gives people a chance to develop. With water nearby children can spend more time for education, because they don’t have to spend time anymore for fetching water.

Water and sanitation
One of the six people in the world have no access to clean water. The Samburu belong to that group. 80 per cent of diseases in developing countries is caused by dirty water and poor sanitary conditions. In Samburu County typhoid is a common disease. Typhoid fever is caused by drinking dirty water and if the patient is not well threatened in time he or she can die of the disease. In Samburu people die of typhoid because medical care is far away and of poor quality.

Most Samburu use surface water from (temporary) pools and streams. This water is usually heavily contaminated, because the cattle are also drinking it. Flies pollute the water too. The Samburu live with their cattle and livestock attracts many flies. Toilets are not generally known by the Samburu. They relieve themselves in the woods which also attracts flies.

Due to lack of water, the Samburu wash themselves badly. Especially women suffer from chronic pyelonephritis, because they do not clean themselves.

Pit latrines
SEED Samburu wants to improve the hygiene and thus the health of the Samburu by building pit latrines. A pit latrine is a hole in the ground, because there is no running water to flush the toilet.

By having a borehole at a central location in the community, the people have access to clean drinking water.

To minimize the inconvenience of the number of flies as much as possible, school compounds have to be fenced. The cattle can therefore no longer be on the school grounds which will reduce the number of flies. This improves the living and learning environment.

Water and development
Almost every year Samburu County faces lengthy and sometimes disastrous periods of droughts. The majority of the Samburu dependent on their livestock and during long drought cattle dies. Because of this loss of livestock poverty and hunger are increasing. It is very important that the Samburu become less dependent on their livestock and must find other sources of income and food security. Access to water supports development and food security.

Fetching water takes a lot of time
Samburu women and children are responsible for fetching water. During dry periods, they have to walk between 5 and 11 kilometers to the nearest water supply and then the filled jerrycan has to be carried all those kilometers back home. Fetching water takes so much time that there is no time or energy left for education and activities to get income.

The schoolchildren of the schools where SEED Samburu works, have to bring every day at least three liters of water. This water is used for the preparation of the lunch of maize and beans, supplied by the Kenyan government (School Feeding Program). For most children this lunch is often the only meal per day. Because the water is far away from school, the school children come hours later at school. Moreover, they are tired after such an intensive trip on an empty stomach. Fetching water takes a lot of the valuable school time and the concentration of the children.

Water nearby generates time for education and development
With a water supply close to the school and the community, the women and children gain a lot of time. They can use this time for education and activities from which they receive income. The women even have time to go to school. In order to reduce illiteracy among adults, SEED Samburu launched special adult education. It is important for women, but also for young people and men learn how to read and write in order to increase their chances in local entrepreneurship.

Food Security
If there is permanent presence of water the Samburu may also use this water to irrigate their vegetable gardens. These gardens give them food. Originally the Samburu are not farmers, but in recent years, the number of vegetable gardens increased. Many families now have their own field where they grow especially maize and beans.

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