…but more than 1 billion people in the world lack access to clean water. This causes over 2 million unsafe drinking water deaths every year, and most are children.
Every day, 6,000 children die from water-related illnesses such as diarrhea, malaria, typhoid, cholera, worms, and parasites.
The lack of clean drinking water in developing countries is the starting place of a thousand miseries. It exacerbates malnutrition, sickness, infant mortality, poverty, and illiteracy.
Last year, Kenya faced one of its worst droughts in recent history. While water shortages are common for many Kenyans living in rural areas and slums, the severe lack of rain caused Kenya to be listed in the top five most rainfall deprived countries in the world. This lack of rain caused crops to wither and cattle to die, resulting in severe food shortages, dams drying up, and power rationing. It left the slums virtually waterless, leading to increased sickness and disease.
Provision Education Center had not been without its challenges from the drought. When simply finding water to buy became a challenge, it became very difficult to operate an educational facility. Water is needed to cook the food, clean the utensils, and wash hands and faces. Without this water, disease and illness became a very real threat to our students and staff.
On September 26th, 2009, We Are Kenya hosted its First Annual “Swing for Kids” Golf Event. Over 50 people signed up to not only play golf, but to show their support for the students at Provision. In addition to the golfers, We Are Kenya received an outpouring of support from community members, businesses, and Grace — the church where several volunteers attend. Through donations raised at the golf event and from supporters like you, We Are Kenya partnered with Provision to take up the water crisis in Kenya. On October 6, 2009 at about 11:00pm EST drillers were mobilized to begin the first phase of a well project on the ground in Soweto. The total cost for completion was nearly $23,000. Phase one, the initial drilling, gave them a bore hole. Phase two provided the necessary equipment to bring the water. While it was tough for us to make the decision to move forward, we knew that when our Kenyan partners said they would give up all financial support for the year in order to dig the well, we knew we had made the right decision.
Thanks to the generosity of scores of people, there is fresh water flowing from a well in Soweto. This has been a dynamic boost for morale in the community. In addition to meeting the many needs for clean water at the Center, the well provides clean water for families and businesses in nearby communities. The well has also provided a source of income for several youth as they are able to make a business of selling the water. In turn, this allows Provision a degree of autonomy, since they are able to draw independent income. Such income allows them to pay for upkeep of the well, electricity for the pump, and other miscellaneous needs around the Center. We are so very grateful for each person that sacrificed to make this possible.