Kenya, what comes to your mind when you hear about that name? Don’t tell me about the lions, elephants, and wild beast migrations in September; it is more than that. Apart from the beautiful animals that attract most people to the country is something devastating to the people of Kenya. This is the crisis of water due to inconsistent and erratic rain. To make matters worse, the little available water is not clean or adequate for human consumption.
Kenya has suffered from this crisis for years, and this has affected local people, especially women and children. Women and children in most families, especially in the villages, have to fend for water in any way they can. Water is life, and yet 40 percent of Kenyans rely on poor water resources.
Why is this still happening in the year 2020? What can we do to change the status quo? What can you do to change to bring change to one village at a time? Imagine those young women who have to travel over 4 km (about 2 and ½ miles) several times daily in search of clean drinking water.
One young lady named Emmah decided to make a difference in her village by starting a nonprofit organization to help solve the drinking water problem. It is called Emmah’s Garden, located in Nyandoche Ibere village in Kenya. Emmah is a smart and motivated young woman who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. She asked, “what is the best way to utilize that degree?” She said she would invest in supporting the community. The organization is involved in providing gravity-powered water purification systems to supply clean drinking water.
Clean Drinking Water
What does clean drinking water mean to you? To Emmah and the Nyandoche Ibere community, it means peace of mind. Unsafe drinking water contains all sorts of contaminants that cause high-risk gastrointestinal illnesses and other chronic diseases like cancer. Emmah is working hard to eradicate this crisis and needs our help. Waterborne diseases are rampant in African countries but rare in the United States of America. Why is that? I will answer that question later. Kenya is one of the countries on the watch list for tourists who wish to travel to the country for a summer vacation. One must be careful about what they eat or drink due to inadequate access to clean water. One must be vaccinated for prevention from unclean water contaminants, but; to the local people, it is challenging to even get a vaccine due to lack and access to the available resources.
Many young children continue to succumb to waterborne diseases caused by microbes such as typhoid fever or cholera. These children are left alone, tending to do other chores while parents travel long distances to find somewhat clean water. Imagine yourself living in this community. Think of how you can help.
In the United States of America, we take clean drinking water for granted. We use the water to water our beautiful manicured lawns cleaner than the water used for cooking in Nyandoche Ibere village. Think about that for a moment. It is hard to imagine that, especially to most of us who have not ventured beyond the borders. I personally grew up in a village in Kenya, and I remember helping my mother with house chores. Part of these chores was collecting drinking water from a distant river. I have chosen to involve myself with Emmah’s Garden for better delivery of clean and safe drinking water.
More information on Emmah’s Garden can be found on Emmah’s Garden – Facebook. Please consider making a donation.
Contributed by Winnie Momanyi