As Kenya Drought Drags On, New Water Well Provides Hope

(Photo courtesy Kenya Hope)

Severe drought continues to ravage East Africa. No water means no food, and the number of people relying on food aid in Kenya rose from 1.1 million in February to 2.6 million last month.

Earlier this week, Kenyan authorities paid nearly $3 million USD to 15,000 farmers to help them keep their livestock alive. At least 2,000 animals have reportedly perished due to drought in one county alone.

Drought or no, it’s not easy to locate water in the remote communities where Kenya Hope works. “It’s typical for them to walk miles to go get water from a river and then have to carry it back home,” Executive Director Joy Mueller tells us.

“[In drought] it’s even worse because if the rivers dry up, then it’s even a harsher, more serious situation.”

The importance of clean water…

According to the World Health Organization, 785 million people worldwide don’t have safe, drinkable water — water that’s located in or near their home, available when needed, and free from contamination. This includes 144 million people who drink directly from “surface” sources like streams or lakes.

Dirty water is a common problem in remote Kenya.

“Probably 95% of the people we work with do not have access to clean water,” Mueller says. “We have had people die from parasites or waterborne diseases.”

Before Kenya Hope dug them a well, villagers in Nkoisusu used a large hole in the ground as their water source. “When it rains, all the water collects there,” Mueller explains.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth