“Water is life, water is everything”

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard this since arriving in Nairobi two days ago. It feels as if I’ve received a lifetime of education on development and aid as we’ve sat hours upon hours discussing these issues with our local contacts Moses and Henry. For Henry it’s close to his heart as we discuss the challenges his family faces in the village of Rakwaro. In the words of the geological survey (which my brother commissioned to get an estimate for drilling a well in this place which only recently received electricity.)

“The area lack reliable domestic water source, the client does intend to develop a domestic water source, for domestic use. Piped scheme does not cover the area and seasonal streams are far from site. The number of water supply is among the worst in Nyanza province. The number of water points available during the wet seasons is very limited. Even during the wet season people have to walk 5km to reach a point where they can fetch water. The water is often polluted. most people use surface water resources as ground catchments and river Nyando. These water resources are shared with cattle causing water pollution. Due to large walking distance people only collet water for drinking and cooking purposes. Washing and bathing is not done regularly and only near the water point.”

Clearly from that statement it’s easy to see how much these people are suffering not to mention their livestock.

Our main topic  of conversation is how we can help this community get off to a start on being self empowered and sustained. The easy way would be to raise the money, put in a well and move on but the need is greater. We’ve begun to talk about the options having water would give them and truly the opportunity is endless. With water we could put in a greenhouse that would allow the people to grow veggies year round not only for themselves but also providing income by selling surplus at the market in other surrounding villages. Water would allow them to keep more poultry and sustain more animals. These prospects make my heart leap. I’m genuinely humbled in every way to be here and have the opportunity to invest in empowering these amazing, kind and generous people.

I’m so blessed.

For as long as I can remember my heart has been geared toward helping the less fortunate. Perhaps out of my own pain I’ve grown more and more burdened to lift that of others. My life is so short, why not spend it investing in something that will carry on for generation after generation? No reason.

15 thoughts on ““Water is life, water is everything”

  1. Beautiful Bekah! May God continue to lead you and direct and grant you clarity in how you can join Him in His heart work.

  2. This has stirred that little…or huge…thing in my heart that makes it race with excitement, inspiration and dedication to get active. It stirs there waiting to be kindled and toked until the fire rages. I’m guilty of letting it go out.

    Thanks for the reminder. It is Gods work.

  3. hi, bekah! i’ve been following your blog for a while, and i was surprised to see that you’re in kenya. i live here in Nairobi, and if you need any help getting places, advice on awesome places to check out (and there are loads), or want a travel buddy for any of the trips, let me know! definitely try and check out kitengela hot glass, just outside of nairobi. your mind will be blown. also, kazuri bead works and amani ya juu in westlands is full of amazing women who know their way around a sewing machine. safe travels,

  4. Today, a few short hours after reading this blog post, I found out that the water of the country I live in (Greece) has just been privatized today, as part of our debt-crisis “plan”… It is a sad day for Greece.
    Your post, this bit of Greek news, and my brush up on the so-called Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the “right to clean and accessible water” for all, leaves me confronted by the huge divide I see existing between countries/continents/people, and the vast differences between the worries we as individuals have, based on our physical location and level of consciousness….
    I don’t really know how to express what I feel at this moment. I hope that someday (as much as I am cautious to use the word “someday”–knowing that we don’t have the luxury of a guaranteed future) I will transform this discomfort and sadness into action/activism. Thank you for being an inspiration in this and other ways.

  5. A few days ago, I read the most amazing quip written on the bathroom door of my favorite restaurant; “Be thankful, for there will always be someone who would gladly trade places with you.” It is amazing how easily we can overlook being grateful for something as seemingly simple as having a ready supply of clean drinking water.
    The world is lucky to have you, Bekah.

  6. Hi, I’ve been following your tumblr and only now realised this website exists (I adore the layout, btw ;))
    I hope you’re enjoying your time in Africa, it’s truly an enchanting continent and the experiences you make will change your life… (at least that’s how it was for me =))
    I can’t wait to read more on your adventures ^^

    (I think I already messaged you on tumblr about this but I’m not sure and now that I discovered this I’ll probably tweak the link a bit, but I’ve added you to the Blogroll on my blog.)

    I hope you continue to have an amazing time, take care

  7. Hi Bekah,

    It’s wonderful to get a real-time perspective of the water issues at hand in Kenya. This is truly valuable knowledge for me because I believe clean water is a vital and dwindling resource for the world population and I know that you probably realize the difficulties in translating this crisis back to our country, where water is often taken for granted.

    In one of my classes, we are investigating the causes of water crises in countries and it appears that deforestation is the leading culprit to the lowering of water tables and degradation of water quality. One of the most pressing current issues in Kenya is the deforestation. We need to educate many more people about the world’s connectedness so that we can actively restore healthy water to places like east Africa.

    I just have to thank you for such an inspiring and enlightening post! I will definitely share your experience with the members of my class and help to spread the word.


  8. Love your blog and website, truly inspiring, especially in a world where a lot of people mostly care about themselves, your lifestyle and philanthropy prove there are still good people in this world. I don’t know exactly what the extent of your mission is in Africa, but some of my friends worked on a similar project in a village in Burkina Faso where they helped install a water pump and solar power station and taught the villagers how it worked and how it fix it so they could manage it themselves. Here’s the website http://www.ewb.umd.edu/projects/completed-projects . I don’t know if this helps at all but I thought I would share! Good luck!

  9. Hello! Ditto on the above, just saw this extended website. I was immediately drawn to this because my workplace is heavily involved with a charity that physically goes to Africa and builds wells at schools in Uganda and Southern Sudan. This is also a cause that I’ve suddenly found myself so moved by, as providing water for communities not only lowers disease, but brings a sustainable positive force to allow people to move forward out of poverty by solving such a basic and essential need! Please continue to update us – I would love to hear how it goes and more details!

  10. Bekah, you are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey. We have recently been inspired to give 10% of our income to providing clean water for hospitals or schools or villages such as the one you are visiting. I sometimes wonder if this is how we should be directing these funds when there are so many disasters and famine and charities, but reading your post I realize that clean water is one of our most basic needs that everyone human being should have access to. Mycharitywater.org is the charity we are currently supporting. May God bless your efforts.

  11. I’ve been interested for some time in small scale life improvements such as those you’re talking about. I was fascinated to read about bag gardens which could make use of grey water for irrigation, thereby allowing families to essentially use water twice to increase their food production. here’s a link. http://www.appropedia.org/Bag_gardens

    I’ve also been interested for years in the work of potters for peace in going into communities and teaching the residents how to make and use ceramic water filters with colloidal silver to salvage water and make it potable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potters_For_Peace#Ceramic_Water_Purifiers

    It is so easy to forget how easy we have it.in the industrialized western world. a recent brush with food poisoning has given me a whole new appreciation of exactly how fortunate I really am.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s