Just a Drop and community action leads to increased food security and livelihoods
– Kenya has been affected by devastating droughts in recent years, causing many people to abandon their homes and take their children out of school in the search of food and water.
Just a Drop is currently working with the Ithime Self Help Group (SHG) in Makueni County (an area severely affected by droughts), on a large scale rock catchment project which will complement eight existing dams in the area.
The project is constructing a guttering system on naturally occurring rock, as well as two water storage tanks, with the potential of harnessing millions of litres of water. A latrine block will also be built. The project is expected to be completed later this year.
The first water tank has been built and members of the Ithime SHG have already been able to turn their lives around thanks to Just a Drop’s help, not to mention their own efforts and community action. For example:
Joyce Musembi, 40:
A mother of six who uses the water to make bricks. “I won a tender to sell my bricks to the nearby school. The money I get I use for buying food and paying school fees. Sometimes, when the returns are good, I can buy a goat!”
Jambo Musembi Mutua, 28:
After spending a year on the streets of Nairobi looking for work, Jambo returned to the community and is now using the new water source to run a successful business selling kale, onions, spinach and coriander. “I have two children plus my father’s family that I still take care of – 15 people depend on this farm. Now with more water available, an idea came to my mind to plant vegetables. I am now self-employed and will never go back to Nairobi.”
Charles Mutua Syeviti, 54:
A farmer who relies on a reliable source of water in order to rear goats and sheep. “During the droughts, so many of my animals died of thirst. We constructed some dams, but once we have completed the rock catchment project, we will have enough water to serve our livelihoods and our domestic purposes.”