WATER FOR LIFE

Matuga, our village with an estimated 3000 inhabitants is a typical Kenyan coastal village. The majority of the inhabitants are members of the "Digo" tribe, a class of people who in the past worked mainly as fishermen and small traders. Since the soil here is very sandy and naturally contains very few nutrients, agriculture (in contrast to the northern parts of the country) is almost insignificant here. With our knowledge about permaculture and organic farming we try to show our villagers new ways to cultivate their land and to grow at least some vegetables of their own. But for this they need water. Without water nothing works, especially here in the "dry" tropics.

The entire village population has about 4 wells and a small river that does NOT have water all year round, not a single well with good quality drinking water! The water supply of the government was built about 50 years ago and is extremely unreliable. Regularly the water supply is interrupted for several weeks. Furthermore the quality of the water from the old pipes is very bad, during tests we found E-coli bacteria in frighteningly high numbers. Accordingly, gastrointestinal diseases, infections and serious illnesses up to typhoid fever are nothing unusual.

We have decided to help these afflicted people with high quality drinking water. This includes the distribution of drinking water from our own well (approx. 130m deep/construction costs about 15'000€ !) to the village population. Our water is of excellent quality and we also sell it to interested people in Diani/Ukunda. Since the amount of water we can draw is limited (to prevent the well from collapsing), we have decided to give drinking water to the villagers rather than getting involved in a bigger commercial business. Especially during the dry season (2018/19 over 5 months without rain!) we have long queues of people in front of our water supply point. The gratitude of the people here is very, very big. With 5 shillings per "jerrycan" (20L canister) they pay a contribution towards expenses which is very fair and inexpensive compared to the excellent quality of our water (in Ukunda the inhabitants pay 50-60 shillings per jerrycan !)

In order to increase the amount of drinking water and to be able to give drinking water to a larger part of the population, we have completed a well (drilled by the government, but unfortunately without infrastructure) together with the local youth group. Thanks to "fundraising" in Switzerland, we were able to collect the necessary funds for the well within a few weeks and have now provided the well with the necessary infrastructure so that fresh water is already available. Unfortunately, according to our laboratory tests by KEBS (Kenyan Bureau of Standardisation) and POLUCON, the quality is not yet drinking water quality but at least usable for washing, gardening, planting and cleaning. We are currently working on a further improvement level, together with the local government.

To secure and maintain this well in the long term, the operators (youth group of about 30 members) also demand 5 shillings per canister (20L), which corresponds to about 0.05 CHF or € and can be expected of almost all residents.

For the construction of further wells we are looking for sponsors and donators. Help can be given in the following form:

  •     One-off donation for new wells
  •     Monthly donations are not necessary for this project, as the financing for maintenance and replacement is ensured by       charging a small amount for the water (help for self-help).
  •     Provide know-how
  •     Material sponsors (submersible pumps (e.g. Grundfos), switches, PPR lines, casings, electrical components, etc.)
  •     Dedication and cooperation as a "workawayer" with us


Transparency and cost certainty:

We document each of our projects with an excel sheet about the actual costs and keep all receipts in our accounting department for inspection. We are well acquainted with the true, locally customary costs regarding materials as well as labour costs and therefore pay only locally customary and fair rates and product costs. We do not, as unfortunately many aid projects here, have any fantasy costs imposed on us, so that the donors pay far too high a price for their project.
 

Questions about the project:

We invite you to ask us your questions about projects at any time. We are really happy to be there for you and answer all questions promptly and in detail, so that you are able to understand our project and the issues involved. Please contact us using the form below