Back in late 1980’s an NGO called Plan International drilled a borehole in the village of Kalimikuu. At that time, the borehole served as a source of clean water for both drinking and domestic use and was operated by a manual hand pump. However, in 2000 the manual pump broke down. The community were not able to undertake the necessary renovations due to financial constraints and Plan International had long since ceased operating in the area.
As a result, nothing happened for the next 16 years until 33 locals came together and formed the Kalimikuu Water Project in order to find a solution and reinstate the much-needed water supply.
Due to the ongoing desperate financial situation of the group, they were unable to do anything until 2019, when they installed an electric pump into the borehole. At this point, they ran out of funds again before having purchased a sufficient number of pipes to get water to their homes. As a result, they resorted to hiring pipes that were moved around different households on different days.
The situation worsened in June of 2020 when the electrical transformer broke which was serving the electric pump within the borehole. The group had to come up with an alternative power source and began to hire a generator at Kshs.1,500 a day. However, this proved too costly for the members to maintain, resulting in the borehole, once again, becoming dis-functional.
Opportunity & Development
In 2022, the locals turned to THI in desperation asking for financial help to install solar panels, storage tanks and pipes. Their objective being to gain access to a consistent supply of clean water for drinking, domestic and agricultural use. As per our THI proposal protocol, we began to collect data and research the impact and feasibility of the project.
In order to apply for a change of use permit, from manual to solar, we needed to locate the original permit from the government offices. This proved impossible as there were no records found so we had to shift our focus to obtaining the technical data for the borehole in order to proceed. Once again, we encountered problems retrieving this data at the county government level and had to enlist the help of the national offices in Nairobi. After months of negotiations, we received the technical data which showed that the measurements of the casing were potentially too tight to house the pump compatible for solar power.
Furthermore, the hydrological and geological studies also showed potentially catastrophic technical and environmental risks associated with increasing the water withdrawal.
Therefore, after many discussions, it was decided that the safest and most sustainable way forward was to construct two 10,000 litre water storage tanks on towers. Although this does not solve the problem of the unreliable power source, our involvement with the group will ensure that a maintenance plan is set up to be able to address any ongoing eventualities in this area. An added benefit of the raised water towers is that the gravitational pull will provide a water supply for the villagers uphill including creating opportunities for the installation of sprinklers.
The remaining part of the project is to pipe water from the tanks out into the community. Once completed 517 members, Kalimikuu School and 2 Churches will benefit from a consistent, safe and clean supply of water. This will enable the community to live a healthier, more productive and prosperous life.
Water promotes opportunity and development.
If you would like to contribute to any of the above projects please donate here.