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FROM BOREHOLE DRILLING TO OTHER ALTERNATIVES

Two university of Hasselt students Sven Kumpen (left) and Lukas Degrande (right) ready to join the process of drilling for a water borehole for Ndhole Primary School. The idea at the beginning was a water borehole 'on site' connected with a solar driven pump to organize clean drinking water for the school children and the 800 households in the community. After an appropriate process of taking care for permits like NEMA and a geo- and hydrological surveys, Sparr's drilling work started 21st of March. Unfortunately there were two dry bores, which caused disappointment in the community and among the project team. The picture shown here is the start. Still full of hope to find water for a thirsty community. You see the material and truck with which a drilling company has been working 'on site'. The students and community now come up with other alternatives to organize the unpredictable rainfall in the region to receive clean drinking water. 

Drilling firm Sparr signing the contract after a broad range of community consultation and participation on Ndhole school site. Beginning of March, no cloud in the sky was foretelling about the effects, soon to be felt, of climate change to the area. Right now, firms will have to educate themselves to be able to do more advanced prospecting before the water drilling starts. The geophysical surveys were done by David Ayete, a respected man with years of experience in the region. Everyone was stunned and very overwhelmed by the negative results of two dry boreholes in the region. 

Community participation is an ongoing process during the project Green Energy Project II. Eduhealth has a project assistant 'on site' of Ndhole Primary School. His name is Stephen Kendo. He takes care for the community participation, the information between stakeholders and the community. He also prepares the launch of the drillings and the project and community meetings so that all runs smoothly. He has organized the launch with the County Commissioner, a very energetic and dynamic event as you can see on the picture!

HOW CAN WE USE THE RAIN WATER BETTER?

We are so happy to have a project committee, school teachers, children and project assistant who look to the future. 'How can we use the rain water better?', is now the question to answer by the students, Eduhealth in cooperation with Homa Bay Foundation in the Netherlands. We are writing a new proposal together and offering to the donors who have been so wonderful to support the project. Special thanks we want to give to the Wild Geese Foundation who have been part of the project team. They have offered to pay for the deficit as a consequence of the dry bores. We feel gratitude for their gesture! The questions now to be solved are renovation of buildings and roofs, optimizing rain water capacity, storage, cleaning/filtering, irrigation and taking care for self-produced food in the school kitchen gardens. We all believe we can work this out by the end of the year! Also a great thanks goes to all the other donors like Wereld Wijd voor Kinderen (WWvK), Den Brinker Foundation, Triodos Foundation, Annie en Tiny van Dooren Foundation, the town council of Tilburg, University of Hasselt and the Haella Foundation, the individual donations given to this project. We take care for a good prologation of GEP III. Thank you all!

Students have visited a water bottling plant with a water well and other projects involving water. The boys have collected a great amount of information about possibilities how to organize water within the given limitations like drought and unpredictable rainfall. In the surroundings they visited two other schools Kanyamfwa school with a borehole drilling with a much lower yield than expected, two kilometres away from Ndhole. Otaro school had more luck with already installed a few years ago two water bore holes filling up two water tanks on a water tower. The water management there is an example of success. 

It is necessary for the project to look for alternative ways to organize and store rain water from unpredictable rainfall. According to Okech Kendo (Our Water Our Life and board member of Eduhealth) after one night of heavy rainfall, a water tank of 10.000 litres can be filled. Students in cooperation with the project comittee on site now calculate how much rain is necessary to irrigate all three school kitchen gardens sufficiently. Still a solar driven water pump will be necessary to organize the water from the roofs to the gardens. Also the roofs of the eight school buildings need renovation to be able to collect rainwater without corrugation or pollution problems. New roofs are planned. Project committee and others are now thinking of more alternative ways to store and clean rain water for sustainable use. 

CONTINUING SEARCH FOR ALTERNATIVE WAYS

A lot of cracks in the walls, wind coming through the buildings, unstable walls and corrugated roofs make a renovation of eight school buildings necessary. To organize optimum of rainwater collection from the roofs, we will propose now to renovate all the buildings of Ndhole Primary School. Also we propose the building of biodigesters or biogas toilets for boys and girls. For the gardens we propose two greenhouses, so that various ideas in green gardening can be followed up by the students and the 4K Club. We all look forward to three flowering school and community kitchen gardens. Until so far the harvests have not done well and food is scarce and a problem regularly. Right now we rewrite proposals so that with a new set of ideas and goals the project will gain respect on alternative ways.  


A lucky part of the project is the donation of World Vision. Two water tanks of 10.000 litres with a total value of 1500 euros were given to the project. Eduhealth, our projectpartner has done succesful fundraising. Ndhole Primary School has now three water tanks, still in need for at least thirteen more. Whenever every school building gets two water tanks, basic water storage needs are fulfilled. We wait for calculations on optimization of water collection and water storage to take advantage of the sometimes heavy unpredictable rainfalls. Wouldn't it be great to organize large fields to collect water?

After their exams end of June of the University of Hasselt, the students have offered their voluntary monitoring skills for a water measurement project. This can be integrated in the prolongation of the Green Energy Project II, which will continue in the Green Energy Project III. Every one hopes that rainfall will continue, that water pans in the region will be filled up and made into water collectors. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERLYNE & OKECH

It all looks so simple: two students going to Kenya and doing a project. So simple it wasn't. For us in Europe we were glad that the family of Okech and Everlyne have been very well organized and hospitable. Sven and Lukas were picked up from the airport, after a long travel they received a warm welcome in the family house of the Kendo's. Okech has organized a driver to bring them about 350 kilometres to Ndhole Primary School. Close to the school the students  were staying in the family home of Okech his extended family. As initiator of Our Water Our Life, the voluntary lobby organisation for water in Homa Bay and surrounding region, he took care for the contractual part of the project in which the students were part. Thanks Okech and Everlyne for taking warmly care for the Europeans!

In the middle of the night, actually after 6pm Kenyan Time, darkness falls over the school terrain. Since the project Solar Kitchen, the school has light which works on the solar panels connected on the kitchen's roof. During the evening the school and the community can now organize events, meetings and gathering. All what we did not think so much of before the project started. 

Here you see the sheep which was given to Mama Abito, the house keeper for the students. They were happy to have a home and lodging during their stay in Kenya. For a son in a Luo family, which Okech is, tradition tells you that you built a house for the family close to your original family. This house became the place where the students were enjoying a resty time and they have felt well taken care of!

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