An amazing achievement by these five people
This is the story of five people who decided to go on a journey to Kenya, not just for a holiday, but to see if they could also find out for themselves how the people of Kenya live without water on tap.
The five were: David Daniel from North Tamerton, who was the lead man, with contact friends from the Meru area of Kenya; Godfrey and Linda Cole, from Whitstone, who had visited Kenya a few years previously on a safari holiday and had a small amount of knowledge of what to expect; and John and Jeanne Barrett, also from Whitstone. For them it was their first ever visit to any part of Africa.
David‘s contact, the Rev John Maromba, had asked the five of us to consider the placing of a bore hole in his home village of Kiengu, which is in the county of Meru in the centre of Kenya, about 250 miles north of Nairobi.
The county of Meru has a population of one million people, with its centre of governance being Meru City.
The journey from Nairobi to the city of Meru took six hours by road and then another hour on to Maua, which was to be our base for the week. We arrived in the dark and in a shower of rain, just at the start of the autumn rainy season.
Main street in Maua where we were staying
So the next morning we were ready to start our research and find out about Kiengu village in true English style but Kenyan time has a very different meaning to time in England and two hours later our transport arrived.
The cows have priority on the road
As we left through the town of Maua we found the roads were only stone and mud and as we slowly bumped along we could look into all the small shops and stalls selling everything from tomatoes to dresses, umbrella repairs, mobile phone battery charge-up and much more. There were new items, handmade and recycled goods. Maua only has one tarmac road which is the main road from Meru and this road took us the two miles into Kiengu village.
On entering Kiengu village the sites were very similar to Maua, with an area about the size of Holsworthy, but it has a population of 5,000 people. It is a village with only a handful of two-storey buildings, very few built of concrete. Most were built with wood frames with tin roofs and walls and no electricity or water.
We were taken around the village to get a sense of the area, visiting the market, the Methodist Chapel and primary schools before being taken to the site for the bore hole.
Every day after school these children go to fetch water for their families in their bare feet
As we arrived we met some children aged between four and 10 years old, carrying water containers. When we asked where they would be walking to get the water, the answer was they had to walk just over half a mile there and back again and some were bare footed.
We all found it a very humbling and challenging moment.
Ways of transporting water
Just think how you would cope if the water company turned off the water supply indefinitely. These people live every day of their lives without a tap to turn on.
Ways of transporting water
Even so, despite these disadvantages we met some exceptional people who, through the way they live their Christian lives, are truly making a big difference to the people of Kiengu.
Our journey to Kiengu in Kenya has had a big impact on our own lives. Over £14,000 has been raised to date
(November 2013) and the borehole has been drilled. Pipework to header tanks are still to be completed.
There is enough water in the borehole to serve 50 families in the surrounding area
Any donations towards this work will be gratefully received.
Contacts: John and Jeanne Barrett 01288 341146 Godfrey and Linda Cole 01288 341002
Linda Cole (2013)