With the receipt of the first report from Kenyan hydrogeologist Dominic Mutinda, our understanding of the groundwater situation grows clearer. We resolve from a series of educated guesses – essentially hunches - to a set of data that tells a story of the underground water nature may be able to provide the people in Misuuni – people who spend hours out of each day carrying water to their homes from unclean water sources.
The objective of the report is to describe things as they are – not necessarily the way we wish them to be. We wish the groundwater resources were located conveniently close to where people need it most. But it does not appear quite that way. Instead, a sustainable groundwater source is more likely to be found along the intermittent streams to the eastern or western fringes of the project area.
There are ways to move water to where it is needed. One way is to engineer a pumping system that delivers water from a well to a storage tank on higher ground. Can a simple well pump do this reliably and simply? A rough calculation suggests it can. Would it be cost effective to do so? Yes, particularly if three-phase power is available. Is three-phase power available? It is in some locations but not in others. And so the questions and answers go on like pieces of a puzzle dropping into place.
The Misuuni Water Project is driven by the needs and desires of the people in Misuuni. They are well-represented by the Misuuni Development Self Help Group (MDSHG) and we at EWB-NY listen carefully. As we listen, we are developing realistic alternatives for meeting the water problem along with the construction and operation costs for each. This is what we will bring to the MDSHG on our next visit as it is essential to hear their ideas, take in new information and make adjustments.
Contributing to the Misuuni Water Project now is vital at this critical phase. The value is immeasurable in terms of good ideas found and bad ideas avoided, real data obtained versus assumptions made, and time taken to understand important aspects of people’s lives so the water system will work in the best possible way for them.
Please visit the Donate section of the EWB-NY website. Asante Sana.