UNICEF reports on women taking responsibility for water provision and management in Kenya as part of a UNICEF and European
Union -supported water and sanitation program.
Tags:EU Water and Sanitation Program in Kenya,EU water and sanitation program,European Union Water and Sanitation Program in Ke,unicef,united nations childrens fund,water management in Kenya,water program of the European Union,water sanitation in Kenya
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Host: For the Samburu people of northern Kenya, livestock are more than just animals, they are a source of livelihood, measure of wealth and social standing, and intrinsic to their culture.
However, access to safe water for both humans and animals is threatened by frequent drought.
Japron Lenguris: The other time when we are having a very big drought, when we transport the animals to that place, we are not going to get a place to stay without that conflict.
Host: Population pressure prevents them from moving to greener pastures; the land can no longer cope, and the erratic rains are a key challenge, as community organiser Joseph Lepariyo, himself a Samburu, explains.
Joseph Lepariyo: This is a pastoral community and one problem that they have faced for a very long time is the drought.
Host: Local community partners along with the Kenyan Government are working in partnership with UNICEF and the European Union to provide sustainable access to safe water and sanitation.
Here at Lolpulelei village, management of the borehole was handed to a local woman, Mary Kaoni, after male elders in charge, misused the funds meant to maintain the pump. The community did this in defiance of the Samburu traditions.
Everyone here now has access to clean safe water at a fair price thanks to Marry. Mary recalls that women faced even greater challenges in the past.
Mary Kaoni: If the water is far, it’s the mother who can put the jerrycan, 20 liters from five kilometers. Even the others can go for 10 kilometers with that jerrycan. Sometimes some can abort; some others can have backache injuries. So, I have seen the health of the mothers within that water pump, have improved.
Host: These efforts to protect water supplies and preserve the environment have reached 70% of the 200,000 Samburu living in the area. The hope is that with more support, everyone can benefit.