Update on Oltorotua Wells from Fredericktowne Rotarians Who Visited

photo 1Yesterday evening I heard an excellent and fun presentation Deb Morrone and Tim Winter of the Fredericktowne Rotary made about their trip to Oltorotua. Since only one borehole yielded water, work is continuing to supply water from that one ample flow to all  the compounds in the village. Tim wrote a request, which we hope Rotary International will quickly approve to change the original grant. Tim’s request said, in part, “However, in order to get the water closer to the other end of the village (1.8 KM away), we have elected to elevate a tank at the productive well and utilize a solar pump and run water lines most of the way to the other end so that we can create filling stations for the villagers.” To keep cost down, the Maasai will dig the trench and lay the pipe and the village mason will erect the tower so the cost for this process would be about equal to the original cost.

Tim and Deb, shown in the outfits from the villagers when making them honorary Oltorotua village members, presented a dynamic program with great photos. The room was dark so the photos, even retouched, don’t capture the presentation, especially Tim’s description of being awakened by lions enjoying a breakfast of zebra a few yards from his tent. Lions are noisy eaters and obviously the zebra was not presented to the female lions and their cubs on a tray! photo 2

One slide showed a woman, chair of the Water Project Committee, blessing the well, which right now looks like only a capped pipe surrounded by small thorny acacia trees to protect it. (Since women have much to gain from fresh water being available nearby, we are delighted the Maasai chose three women to include on the Water Project Committee, which will also collect fees for use to pay for maintenance and repairs.)  The hope is that work will finally be completed within a few weeks and Oltorotua village, for the first time ever, will have fresh, pure water for drinking, cooking, and washing!

Then we move on to working with the villagers on hygiene and maintenance to keep the well pure and flowing far into the future!

Several Rotarians mentioned the excellent turnout and I myself thought the full room showed interest in the project. I thank Fredericktowne, Prince Frederick, Lexington Park, Leonardtown, and Nakuru-Great Rift Valley Rotary Clubs plus the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick for supporting this project. An aside: Deb and Tim also met with the Nakuru Club and Deb stressed how impressed they were that a relatively small club is contributing so much to better the lives of many Kenyans. Additional projects include building a hospice (Deb and Tim attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony) and water for a local school and for the entire population of an island in Lake Victoria.

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