Food is essential for life (see post #8), but of course so is water. I also mentioned in that post that Kisii county receives at least some rain in every month of the year, and in fact, during the rainy season, it receives an excess.
But despite this, obtaining clean and healthy water is a problem not only for the orphanage, but for the entire community.
There are places in the world where there is enough steady rainfall throughout the year, that with an adequate collection system off the roofs, the people can gather enough to meet their needs. It was like that where we lived in New Zealand.
I see no reason why, during the rainy season here, this would not also work here. In fact, you do see some tanks in various places around the area just for this purpose.
But even if this water falls from the sky in clean distilled form, it does not necessarily remain clean once it is stored in a tank. It can be treated, of course, but in the end, this system does not meet the year-around needs of this area. There are too many months with not enough rainfall.
The church and orphanage, and in fact the entire village, obtains their water from the same source. The source is from far down into a valley, where water is flowing out of an embankment. It is spring water. There are actually more than one spring around the area.
The pastors took me down to see the one where they get their water. We were down in the area to visit a school anyway, so since we were that close, it was a good opportunity to take care of this other request of mine of things that I wanted to learn about the situation.
The spring actually was much cleaner than I expected,
and people do drink it as it is. You can see Pastor Douglas doing just that. The area around the outflow has been sealed to keep out contamination, but I am told that the water is not free of contaminants. People do sometimes get sick from the microbes it contains.
But I would think that it is the bringing the water to the orphanage that must be the worst part of using this water for the orphanage. Probably the water could be treated so that it could be made pure for drinking (I do not know for certain), but the fact that it is located far down into a valley makes carrying enough water up the hill a very daunting task. I would say that the trip would be a 30-45 minute walk, mostly up a steep grade, and with a water jug either on your head or strapped to your back.
For a family, it is one thing, but for an orphanage of 42 children plus a few workers, it is something else.
The answer of course, is a well-- “bore hole” as they call them here. I once asked Joel the depth of the water table, and he replied, “Praise God, clean water can be obtained at 129 meters.”
For we metric system challenged Americans, that is about 425 feet. Actually 423 feet and 2.74 inches (I looked it up so I may as well write it down). This water table depth is according to a government survey.
I should add that this water project is not a project that God has put upon me, at least as far as I know. But several people in the US have asked me about the situation, so I wanted to find out.
This is what I found.