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.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Water Web

Like water droplets glistening on the spider web in the morning sun, we have also been developing a network of individuals and organizations in the water field helping us prepare and to connect with others in Kenya. From colleagues in Colorado who assisted with preparing GIS mapping on our laptop, giving advice and lending low tech instruments such as a plopper (for measuring water levels), to far away folks at Church World Service in New York and Nairobi, at NASA and the UN, in the UK and in Wyoming, many have already contributed to our trip. Two groups that have been especially helpful are SUMAWA and Excellent Development. Check out the links to both.

SUMAWA stands for Sustained Management of Watersheds and is a comprehensive study of the Njoro River Basin (which drains into Lake Nakuru) involving scientists at the University of Wyoming and Egerton University in Njoro and many local stakeholders in the basin. Scott Miller (UW) contributed a vast amount of data and GIS mapping from the project for our trip. We will be meeting with SUMAWA staff in conjunction with staff from Farming Systems Kenya, our local Church World Service partner in the area.

Excellent Development is a small NGO from the UK which supports water development and conservation in the Machakos District east of Nairobi. Simon Maddrel from UK and Joshua Mukusya from Kenya have been involved in sand dam projects for many years. Thanks to Simon for providing valuable references on sand dams. We look forward to meeting Joshua on our trip.