Indigenous women approached us and expressed their concerns and problems on access to clean water. Most of them collect water from the river where they have to share the water with livestock, domestic use and everyone. There was limitation for them on when and what time to collect water since tradition has it that the livestock has to have priority in a watering point. There and then we decided to start engaging the elders and discussing on the way forward to solving the problem.
During the time of thinking of what to do we decided to research and found out that all the users can use the water without conflict, but we had to think on how to do that while at the same time protect the water sources around. We had to make sure we theres involvement of all members of the community who are the same time users of the resource.
Our Mission began and indeed was a success. Indigenous Information Network approached MADRE an International Human Rights Organization based in New York and got funding to start the process. Training, meeting and protection of the water source with 50% contribution from the communities. Since then, we began and continued and to date five (5) water sources have been protected and access for all users guaranteed. Two more are lined up for 2016. This has also included trainings on how to protect and conserve the water.
The schools have not been left behind in order to ensure that the schools and especially those of girls have water all the time and clean water for drinking, the organization together with MADRE have given 5 of 5,000 and 10,000 litters of water, 4 tanks to Kilgoris girls secondary school, and one 10,000 liters to DEB primary school. In West Pokot’s Chebareria, one tank 10,000 litres was given to Mzalendo primary, one 10,000liters tank to Naisola Grace School in Kajiado, Merigo women group from logologo Marsabit benefited with funds to pipe the water to their green house, 10,000litre tank and other smaller tank of 2,000 litres.
Coming a long way with little resources has shown that where you have the heart and focus nothing can stop the success and the benefit is something that is visible a healthy community and healthy livestock that makes an economic change to all in the community. IIN is a member of Civil society organization in water, partners with County Governments in the areas of work on water issues and attends water meetings and conferences at all levels.
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