East Africa: Installation of Clean Water Facilities for 5,500 Kenyans

Installation of Water Facilities in Progress in Eastern District of Kitui
Reports from 2011 indicate that the ongoing drought in eastern Africa is the worst in 60 years. In response to the latest outbreak, in August 2011 AAR Japan sent team members to the Republic of Kenya, delivering emergency rations and aid. From February of this year, AAR has also made strides to supply clean water to the area of Mutomo in Kitui District, where a water shortage continues. The installation of a water supply is seen as key to overcoming not only the current drought, but also to alleviating similar situations in the future.

September 13th, 2012 – Extracting water from the riverbed during the dry season. It is sometimes necessary to dig up to 5m to access water.

17km of Pipeline Installed

The source of water for the area is a 50m-deep well, which has been spared the effects of the drought. Two  pipelines are connected to the well, with the lengths punctuated by two water towers, which temporarily store water reserves. The pipelines stretch to local town centers and schools, as well as four newly-built water-selling facilities. When all the facilities have been fully constructed, the surrounding population of 5,500 will have reliable access to clean water, while money generated from water sales will go toward maintenance of the facilities.

The first step of the plan was to dig an approximately 60cm trench for the pipes starting from the well, which was completed with local assistance. When the trenches reached the villages, the pipelines were laid out and connected. With simultaneous work on the water towers, water-selling outlets and toilets, it was possible for all installation work to be completed in September.

The two pipelines together have a total of 1,500 connection points. In order to make full use of all the water-selling outlets, all of the connection points are currently undergoing repairs for water leakage.

From the well on the left side: A 5km pipeline stretches to Nzalani via Nduudune, and an 8km pipeline goes to Tuvila, continuing to Makele.

September 25th, 2012 – Workers discuss as construction advances. 2nd from the right is Bunji SAITOU from AAR’s Kenya office, while 2nd from the left is Go IGARASHI from AAR’s Tokyo office.

October 11th, 2012 – Water reaches Makele’s water outlet, where Daigo TAKAGI from AAR’s Kenya office checks the tap. The locals are looking forward to using the facility.

Locals to Maintain Water Facilities

AAR has installed hand-washing facilities next to the water sales outlets, as well as water-based lavatory facilities, combining the installation of such services with the improvement of overall sanitation. There had previously been no public lavatories in these towns, and public awareness regarding sanitation was minimal.

To combat this problem, AAR gathered roughly 20 locals to form a committee to undertake training in maintenance services for water facilities in each town, as well as partaking in sanitation classes. These training events spanned 4 days each. The committee members then returned to their local water outlets and relayed the key points to the surrounding residents.
The water facilities are to be maintained by locals after completion, led by the nearest committee member. We hope that our support will have a lasting effect toward combatting the region’s recurring drought problems.

June 22nd, 2012 – Committee members for water regulation educate local children about the importance of washing their hands.

September 15th, 2012 – A completed water tower. It can temporarily store approximately 50 tons of water.

September 25th, 2012 – The pipeline also carries water to the hand-washing facility of the public toilet.

*This effort was made possible thanks to your warm contributions, as well as through the support of Japan Platform.

Tomohiko MORITA, Tokyo Office
Worked in the private sector after finishing graduate school, followed by two years at the Japanese embassy in Zimbabwe. Upon returning to Japan, joined AAR in May 2012, and has been in charge of projects in Kenya since June.