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Miumbuni: From Pond Water to Clean Water for 3,000 people

We have some exciting updates- Well Aware’s Austin team is back in Kenya through November 17th! Our last trip in June was so fulfilling and productive, we were itching to get back into the field as soon possible. Now, after countless hours of planning, mapping, and organizing, we are finally back in Kenya, implementing two new drills in the communities of Miumbuni (Musalaani) and Salaita.

Right now, the team is on site in Miumbuni, which is home to about 3,000 people and is mainly populated with older adults and children, who attend the nearby Misuuni primary school. Previously, Miumbuni has solely relied on water from a man-made dam (pictured below) which they drink untreated. The only semi-clean drinking water that ever becomes available to this community is the little rainwater catchment they collect during the rainy season, which is also used untreated. When our team visited Miumbuni in February 2018, we watched as the primary school students filled up their jerry cans in the dirty pond at the dam after school.

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Photo by Lindsey Reed

The consumption of this scarce and untreated water has left the community of Miumbuni suffering greatly from chronic waterborne illnesses and other challenges that arise from lack of clean water. This will soon all change - as we are incredibly excited to begin implementation of this new, sustainable water well, powered by the GLOFISH® brand, of Spectrum Brands. A team from Spectrum traveled with us to Kenya in February and after visiting Miumbuni, they decided they wanted to focus their next partnership with us on fundraising for this community.

“We are so excited to be able to continue the partnership between Well Aware and the GLOFISH® brand. We have been looking forward to the dig in Miumbuni ever since the Spectrum Brands team participated in the Shower Strike in April and raised the funds to bring clean water to the families of Miumbuni. This dig also means a lot to me personally as I had the privilege of spending some time at the Misuuni primary school in Miumbuni, with the Well Aware team last February. After seeing the amazing impact of Well Aware’s work in other communities in Kenya, I know that this dig will change the lives of the children at Misuuni primary school for years to come and I feel so blessed to be a part of making that happen.” - John Fox, Spectrum Brands

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Photo by Lindsey Reed

We are incredibly grateful to the entire GLOFISH® team, and we are truly honored to work with this community to help them thrive with clean water. Watch here as our tech team tests the new well’s water capacity on Day #3 of drilling:

As we’ve been drilling, our team has also been hard at work talking with community members, strategizing with the Water Committee, and conducting WASH training.

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Community Manager, Karen Kavete, conducts Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) training. / Photo by Kathryn Bergmann

Interacting with the communities, listening to their needs, and engaging with their stories is one of the most rewarding and important pieces of our work. This week, we asked a group of kids how they feel about the new borehole. You can see their responses - like "no more pond water!" - next to their handprints below:

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Photos by Lindsey Reed

Seeing the joy on these faces reminds us how important this work is. For these children, the new well means a transformed future and we are grateful to be a part of it. After we have completed work in Miumbuni, we are headed to the community of Salaita, Kenya where we will also implement a new drill for the 2,000 people living there. Make sure to follow us here and on social media for updates from the field as our team continues this clean water journey!

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