Water for the Masai villagers of Southern Kenya

The commune of Alenya (Pyrénées-Orientales) is sponsoring the sinking of a well to supply drinking water to a school and a boarding school, as well as the surrounding population.

"Our little drops of water finally succeed in filling large reservoirs!"

Philippe Mignard

Comité de jumelage, d'échanges and d'amitié entre les peuples de la villed'Alénya (Pyrénées-Orientales) has decided to create and intensify the links between the commune and the built-up areas, towns and villages or their populations in Europe and across the globe, in order to contribute to a more supportive world.

In order to improve school attendance, the Kenyan government has aided the Purko Primary school, which has more than 600 students and is located 6km from Ilkiremisho, to build two boarding schools accommodating 120 students each (one for girls and one for boys). Though construction has been completed, the premises are partly unusable because the village lacks water: the grant from the government (1 million Kenyan shillings) to build a water supply system is insufficient. The Masai community has asked Comité de jumelage et Électriciens sans frontière (ESF), partners of the boarding school project, to supplement this aid.

Water, quality of life and health go hand in hand

The plan is to drill and install a pump powered by a photovoltaic system, as well as the network designed to supply the school, the two boarding schools and the neighboring communities. The school has land 200 meters away where it is possible to sink the well and produce 40 m3/day of drinking water. This will spare the women and children from having to carry water over long distances, thereby improving the daily living conditions of the community and the health of the surrounding population (several thousand people).

A "water committee" will manage the facilities and the resource, and guarantee the permanence of the installations. All its members have received training, on the spot and during trips to the commune of Alenya, on facilities run by the Communauté de communes Sud Roussillon. The committee has the duty of running the facilities professionally, following the procedures drawn up by the installation technicians. It participates in educating the population in the use of water for public health purposes. It could ultimately introduce the principle of selling the water to the users, which would help guarantee the future operation and maintenance of the installations.