Addressing Water Shortage in a Desert Community
Bubisa means “windy place.” It is a harsh, desert environment in northern Kenya, where scarce resources like water are critical for survival for the people and their livestock, upon which they depend.
In 1954, a borehole was installed in the community, and the population of both people and livestock has been consistently on the rise since. With the increased population, the community still experiences water shortages at times throughout the dry season.
Our local partner, FH-Kenya, worked with the community as they formed a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) committee, and Galgallo Godana has stepped up as the chairman of the committee. Acting as the liaison between FH-Kenya and the community, the WASH committee activated the community and, with Galgallo’s oversight, three water kiosks have been added to distribute water to different points in the community.
Galgallo monitors operation to determine how to ration the water, allowing community members to plan when to collect water and how much they will need based on the posted schedule. The committee has been trained and is responsible for making necessary repairs to the kiosks and borehole, and collecting water fees from community members. And, because they have been trained in sanitation and hygiene, they share this with the other community members, and ensure that the water is being used appropriately.
By strengthening and building the capacity of organizations working at the community level, we are able to affect change that will last for generations. In Bubisa, this has meant the development of a rationing system to allow for a more dependable water supply, a shorter walk for the women and children responsible for their families’ water collection, and a healthier community as a result of the comprehensive WASH program.