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Got Osimbo Water Project (2)
"Got Osimbo" is an international water project led by Rotarian Carol Carper, a member of the Evergreen Rotary Club. This project is supported in part by Rotary eClub One through its international service grants. This article is part of a series of updates from the field by Carol Carper. Efforts have been made to retain the narrative in its original form with minimal edits.
Life is good in East
Uholo, Kenya. It rains nearly every
day. Not a little but usually around
three the clouds begin to build and by 4 or 5 there is a major downpour. Sometimes more rain in the night. By the next morning the sun is out once more
and things are drying out. This is
excellent crop growing weather and the crops know it. In terms of ebola I have heard for several
people: Carol it is not ebola or
HIV/AIDS that is the killer, it is malaria-get it. Water borne diseases are also continually a
concern. My living situation continues
as previously before my landlord died.
The compound remains a park and Jospehine Odera is very competent in running it day to
day. Even her children admit that the compound
runs more smoothly than when her husband, Peter, was alive. The picture on the
right is the entrance to the compound.
|A cottage||L-R: Sarah Awor, Jane Akini and volunteer, David Pesek|
Before I begin on
more serious sharing, I wanted to share that Karen and I drove into a dramatic
scene at the compound today. A woman
bent over and appearing to have a terrible deformity was being chased by Jane
with a mop. Jane was yelling lots of
abuse at her. Jane chased her yelling
and waving the mop down this lane and then a gardener near the entrance took up
the cry. Later Jane, who speaks very
limited English, dramatized the situation.
Jane through motions of her head and with her rump sticking out and
moving jerkily along imitated the woman who was hiding clothes she had stolen
tied around her waist under her loose dress.
We all were in stiches laughing at Jane’s imitation. Jane did save all
of Karen’s and my clothes from being stolen off the line.
volunteer and nurse, and I have spent this last week in the community working
on health and hygiene. We met with the
staff and the community health workers (CHEWs) of both dispensaries. They have been going house to house talking
about cleanliness around bodily waste. They
look for homes without latrines. They
actually report those homes without one to the chief and the police go out and
encourage the building of one. The CHEWs
are now in a new initiative. They are
encouraging tippy taps being installed by each latrine. There is usually not enough money to buy
liquid soap so people are now being taught to have a container of ash beside a
suspended liter bottle of water. You
let the rope down either by hand or foot and use the ash to clean the
hands. Karen wondered about the
abrasiveness. The response was that the
ash was actually making the hands smooth.
In addition, the CHEWs are teaching the farm holders to make a simple
lid of a board with and handle and to move it over the slit to keep flies from
entering. This becomes a great
opportunity to talk about flies.
It certainly makes
the slit toilets more pleasant for our volunteers.
Karen and I decided
to visit some schools to look at what they were doing about hand washing at
school. The visits went from abysmal
filthy toilets to a gem of a school run by the head of our water project and
head teacher at Got Osimbo Primary school. There is a schedule of classes for
each day of the week to clean the latrine with chlorine. The latrines sparkled in this school. They had tippy taps for teachers and
students. And also health clubs at each
grade. Karen participated in a WASH
exercise where a health club educated the remainder of the school in health and
hygiene. At this school there were containers of water with a tap for drinking
water. Each child is encouraged to bring
a bottle to school and refill it during the day.
The picture on the
left is of the latrine of one of our farmers with the two containers suspended
by a rope. The second picture is actually
the preferred model because you tip the water with one’s foot meaning that
dirty hands do not touch the rope. Some
education around refraining from playing with the tap has been important in
that children were breaking the mechanism by playing with it. I will go to each school with a CHEW and
encourage them to install a similar system.
A WASH session encourages children to wash after the latrine, before
eating, before preparing food.
The Got Osimbo water
project is progressing well. As of today we have a preliminary plan for the
system. Both time estimates have been
done, the price tag was about $440,000 USD.
Consistently, the government is indicating a willingness to fund a part
of this system. My goal will be to raise
$330K through Rotary and grants. We can
now begin the exciting task of the Utimishi Nairobi Rotary club flying in to
mentor the community in planning their water system. I have had meetings with the chief and
assistant chief to share the coming initiative.
When I left in June
I charged a woman’s group to organize themselves into village groups. I was suggesting we use these groups to raise
awareness and generate support for the coming system. To my delight they have done so. Each of 22 women’s groups will send
representatives to meet with me on Oct. 10th.
We will plan how to do water mapping.
Their members will sit at the major water points and count by the hour
how many women and children draw water.
This will help us to know the peak times of use so we can plan for them. Tomorrow I will go over the proposed planning
process with members of the community based organization (CBO) leadership. This week I fly into Nairobi to meet with
the Utimishi team of 4 around their involvement. I believe we will be starting soon after
development that was unlooked for is that ICEPI the founders of Push and Pull
agriculture have selected our program to be a model agriculture program. They will be providing new traditional seeds
of the grass to surround the plot and also desmodium. The new seeds are drought tolerant. We are to do some model farms. ICEPI has a working relationship with Heifer
International. The model farms will then
have access to the Heifer program. A
great offer in that we have long wanted to start a dairy program. Our model farms will be on the ICEPI website. Hats off to Paskalia Shikuku and her agents.
The first lesson was the importance of measuring and planting the seeds
A bit more fun, some cameo shots of Karen
with our resident charmer and having tea with the CHEWs after a discussion of
what was in their new first aid kits, a gift from Karen.
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- Photo of Carol Carper was originally published by the Rotary Club of Parker on parkerrotary.org
- Other Photos are courtesy of Carol Carper
- The opinions expressed by the authors of each Make-up Article do not necessarily represent the opinions of Rotary eClub One and its editorial staff.