In August 2020, the Lemolo Borehole project was completed, giving the Lemolo IDP Camp and surrounding communities reliable and safe access to clean water! Six months later, in February 2021, KIDS Imitative received a Progress Report, detailing how the borehole has been contributing to the community, and how the community has made the borehole their own!
For many years, the Lemolo community was challenged by a lack of access to clean water, especially during the dry season. Without a reliable source of clean water, the Lemolo community collectively spent many hours a day either accessing water or going without, which could mean going without clean cooking utensils, clean clothes and diapers, and not being able to wash their hands after going to the washroom. Often, they must take isolated paths in the dark to reach the nearest source of water, increasing their risk of experiencing violence. When all we need to do is turn on a tap, it is easy to forget how often we use water to cook, clean, and wash.
This is why the Lemolo Borehole project has had such a large impact on the community, and they take pride in it. The community elected a Borehole Management Committee who leads the project and oversees the day-to-day activities. Two people (a water distributor and a night watchman) are employed by the Management Committee. To cover these costs, as well as any maintenance costs, the community collectively agreed to sell (and purchase) the water at Ksh. 2.50 per 20 litre container (about $0.028 CAD), which is affordable for all families. In the six months since the project was completed, the Lemolo community has found ways to improve their experience when getting water from the borehole.
They have put up fencing around the borehole to ensure security and erected a structure to provide shade to the person giving out water. Livestock regularly graze nearby and receive water when they’re thirsty. The community has even planted trees, flowers, and fruits in the area, promoting environmental conservation and good health.
The borehole is also already providing new opportunities for the community. Many of the youths have taken to their motor bikes (boda boda) to deliver water to members of the community who are not able to leave their homes. Depending on how many trips a person makes a day, they are able to make a living delivering water. Other people support themselves by delivering water by tractor to distant communities as well.
Three schools also get their water from the borehole. They hire a tractor to transport the water and fill their storage tanks. The borehole is the only access to water that these schools have; this new access has been essential in keeping everyone safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The borehole also means that children, especially girls, no longer need to spend as much time gathering water, meaning that they have more time to study and will likely be able to stay in school longer, increasing their future opportunities.