Welcome to Kasiki

Kasiki is a kiswahili word meaning "water jar". For many years Peter and Caryn have helped raise funds for Church World Service (CWS) through our local Foothills CROP Hunger Walk in Littleton, Colorado. Last February (2006) Peter and 11 other volunteers traveled to Kenya and Uganda to see how CWS uses the money to help people in East Africa through many different types of development programs. This February (2007) we are both going as volunteers. Peter will be using his expertise as a hydrologist to help CWS and local Christian partner agencies evaluate community water projects. Caryn will be assisting in the water efforts, and writing about the people we meet and communities we visit.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kaikungu Community Water Project - Feb 15

After leaving our friends Sabastian and Gabriel at Masongaleni, we took the long, bumpy road north to Kitui, a small city in the hills. We were met by Bishop Mule of the Kitui Diocese of the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Church World Service patner in this area.

The next morning (15th) we drove north into the hills in the direction of Mwingi to the Kaikungu Community water project, where we were met by Pastor Ezekiel Matua, water chairwomen Regina Ibrahim and other community members. This day was a bit of a mixed bag, as the borehole drilled for the community about 9 months ago, had still not been fitted with a pump. There has been some problems with the driller and project funding, but the community leaders apparently thought we were coming to fix the situation. Until the pump and a solar panel are installed, the community is still relying on water holes dug in the sand of an intermittant stream, or when that source dries up, a long walk to a larger stream. There is also a small sand dam constructed in the drainage which sustains a water source for a little longer into the dry season.

This whole region of hills has extensive problems with erosion from farming on the steep hillsides. Ultimately, the longterm solution to water problems here must include tree planting, farm terracing, sand dams along the drainages and a restoration of the hillsides. Until the community can be organized and educated to work towards these solutions, we pray that their borehole can be up and running soon to alleviate immediate water needs. We'll keep up on the status of this project.