Just a Drop worked with Excellent Development on a project carried out by the Ilikoni Bee Keepers and Kitui Kya Musyi self-help groups, near Mtito Andei in
Makueni district, South-East Kenya. The project extended the pipelines from four village tree nurseries to the villages themselves, allowing each village its own water supply.
- Two water pipelines, one 7.5km and one 2km long
- Mombasa/Nairobi pipeline
- A water tank and kiosk for the Kitui group
- Two tree nurseries, one for each community
- A total of 9,853 trees planted out of a target of 10,000
- 18,395 metres of terracing dug
The pipelines were constructed as extensions from the Water Board’s Mombasa-Nairobi
pipeline, which runs next to the railway. Community self help group members dug the trenches for the pipelines – a total of 9.5 km.
The water tanks bring clean water to the heart of the community. The water kiosk and kiosk operator’s salary are paid for out of a small levy on the price of water. Water is therefore available much more conveniently and much cheaper than it was previously, giving the community members freedom to pursue other goals.
Terracing such dry land is extremely hard work, but the benefits for soil and water conservation are worth it. It takes one person a whole day to dig 10m of terracing, but when communities are motivated to come together and help each other out, they can
achieve rather incredible feats. The Ilikoni and Kitui Kya Musyi groups managed to dig 18,385 metres of terracing.
Trees provide food, fuel, building materials, medicine, animal fodder and much more. With terraced land and a reliable supply of water, trees have a much greater chance of surviving in the semi-arid climate. As the trees mature, they help improve the micro-climate of the area, positively transforming the environment.
Project members managed to plant a total of 9,853 trees, even though the area has been suffering from drought for the last five years. As a source of seedlings to reforest the surrounding land, the two tree nurseries established by the Just a Drop project, and fed from the new water tanks, are key to the environmental and economic sustainability of the area. The trees are tended by the self- help group members and distributed to community members.
Date of Project: November 2008