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news | April 16, 2018 | Kenya | Rehabilitation

Drinking water finally flows out in Ntepes

Ntepes is a populous village in the outskirts of Wamba, Samburu County. As a dry area that receives little rainfall, there is no guarantee for families nor farmers that they can have access to safe water for domestic and livestock use. As such, though the village is home to more than 400 families, for almost two years, they could only rely on water from wells dug along the dry river bed.

A hand pump they previously relied on had long been broken, leaving them fully dependent on highly contaminated water sources. Contamination was caused by the unhygienic mode of withdrawal as well as the open defecation practices by the residents around these points. To make matters worse, not only was the water unsafe, it was also hardly enough to meet their daily demand. While animals only drunk water twice in a week, residents survived for days without water for bathing and cleaning. For household consumption, villagers would wake up at wee hours of the night, carry their empty jerricans and walk long distances to collect water from the wells, exposing themselves to safety risks. Despite their efforts, water scarcity caused many to wait for hours to fill their 20-liter jerrican. In addition, residents had to share wells with wild animals, especially elephants, which would lead to further contamination of water.

To enable residents to gain easy access to clean and safe water, ACTED embarked on repairing the broken hand pump of the communal shallow well to facilitate better and efficient pumping of water, with funding from USAID-OFDA. When the repair work was completed and the pipes reconnected, water burst out from the pipes, to the joyful shouts of the community members. Movement to the water point increased as people carrying their plastic jerricans came to fetch clean, fresh water from the well. Women, girls, boys and men were all streaming in at the hand pump to draw water. The community now has access to clean and safe water that they can drink, use for domestic and hygiene needs, and to water their animals. The availability of clean water has helped counter the risks of water-borne diseases in the area. Additionally, as people do not have to walk miles in the night or early morning to access water, it also lowered protection risks.

“There is no more risk of waking up at 3am to fetch water at the contaminated wells, we can now wear clean clothes and have plenty of water to drink.”

 - A community member

The repaired hand pump addressed one of the biggest problem the residents were facing, especially for women and girls who bear the biggest burden of collecting water for their households. They no longer have to walk long distances in search of water, nor queue for long at the water points.

“Community members in Wamba are now enjoying safe water.”

 - Natena, Chairperson of Naipash Women Group