Smelly Shower Strikers Deliver Life-Saving Water To Kenya
September 12, 2012
KENYA – Austin-based nonprofit Well Aware struck water in Kenya twice this month, starting a flow that will save hundreds of lives in East Africa. Volunteers raised money for the projects by going on Shower Strike until friends and family donated the $80,000 needed to complete the wells.
“It’s amazing to see our incredible supporters Shower Strike in April, then just four months later to watch hundreds of people celebrating the plentiful clean water being pumped from their new water wells,” said Sarah Evans, Well Aware’s founder.
Well Aware’s volunteer technical team just spent an intense three weeks in Kenya:
- The team successfully drilled a water well for Tania Integrated Rehabilitation Centre, a school near Nairobi for children who have been rescued from early forced marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) and the streets. The children have been orphaned or abandoned ! many are hearing impaired and have other special needs. The school’s well went dry four months ago and food supplies, hygiene and health were suffering. Approximately 1500 people in the area will now have access to clean water.
- Well Aware also helped private donors in Austin provide a well for Ndatani School in the village of Sultan, 100 km southeast of Nairobi. The donors paid for the well, and Well Aware supervised and covered the cost of the pump, elevated storage tank, solar panels and distribution pipes. Approximately 1500 people in the area will now have access to clean water.
- Well Aware’s volunteer engineers evaluated five potential projects and checked on five past Well Aware projects as part of its commitment to install sustainable water systems in partner communities.
The Shower Strike that paid for the 2012 projects drew individuals and teams from Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club, EnviroMedia Social Marketing, Pflugerville High School and even a 2nd grade class in Iowa.
For the first time, some of Well Aware’s supporters were in Kenya to see the drill hit water, and then celebrate with the people it would help.
“It’s one thing to hear that a child in Africa dies every 15-seconds from water-born disease and that girls as young as 8-years-old are sold into marriage in exchange for food and water so their families can survive,” said Melanie Fish, Well Aware board member who, along with her 12-year-old daughter, went on the trip with 11 other people. “It’s a whole other thing to be there when a child who no longer has to miss class to carry heavy jugs over long distances hugs you and then breaks out into dance.”
The trip was a unique combination of philanthropy and safari arranged by JB Journeys, a travel agency in Austin that specializes in eco-tourism.
About Well Aware
Well Aware is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed in 2006 to provide life-saving water for those who have none. We are adding capacity and access to clean, sustainable water systems in East Africa, along with community education and involvement to make those water systems last. For more information on clean water systems in East Africa, go to www.wellawareworld.org or email info@wellwareworld.