Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31 2010 Building Community Ties

The entire day that we drilled the shallow well was a welcome and constant stream of the various community members which fit perfectly with our goals of discussing where to go from here. It fits beautifully with the Rotary theme for the next year of Building Communities / Bridging Continents. How great to have so many people and Rotary Clubs from several continents helping Ndandini to build its community from the ground up.

We had earlier worked with our project manager Duncan and set up the Nandini Village Committee and registered it with the Kenyan Government to manage the proposed well for the benefit of the entire Community including responsibility for collecting the taxes which would be due to the Kenyan/government for water taken from a well.
The Committee and indeed the entire community can today see that they will now be moving forward with their responsibilities.
We had conversations throughout the day focussing on how the community can now move forward and make progress and who best to assume the leadership roles and where to begin.
The Chairman of the Ndandini School´the headmaster and his teachers are all well educated and understand the issues and because they speak English this allowed us to discuss ideas´ issues and plans.
Many of the adults in Ndandini do not speak English ~ they speak swahili. Many do not relate to how different farming and irrigation methods can now be introduced with the availability of consistent water to enable more productivity and a healthier life. It is through teaching the children new ideas that we hope to introduce new knowledge to the community with the children taking the new ideas home and parents seeking more information from the school.
One such program is available and has been recently introduced into fifteen pilot Secondary schools in the Yatta District of which Ndandini is part. This program provides a medium size drip irrigation system complete with seeds and training to produce one crop. The crop can then be sold with the revenue going to the school to buy whatever else they need. The objective being that the kids take their knowledge home and convince the parents to use this knowledge.
In discussions with the Ndandini primary school Chairman and headmaster the objective is to try to get this project in the Ndandini Primary School since in Ndandini many children do not progress to Secondary school which is in another area. We are endeavouring to get a meeting this week at a High School that already has one of the drip irrigation systems installed as part of the High School program. This achool may be 30 km away and no one here has a vehicle so you can understand how 30 km can seem like 300 or 3000km to this community. If we can set up the meeting this week while we are here we will rent a taxi to take the chairman and headmaster to see for themselves and hopefully have them commit to a similar teacher supported program here in Ndandini. It will be at least a two hour drive one way ~ by very rough dirt roads.
The drip irrigation system is called the Amiran Farmers Kit. See more information at

This week we also plan to visit the Ndandini Primary School to expand our knowledge for potential piping of water ~sanitation ~solar lighting requirements and agricultural potential for drip irrigation project.

Jan and Terry

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