Today, Monday September 6th was to be our final day in Kenya for the group. We had set up for a day of touring and last minute souvenir shipping. But once again, one of those magic moments occurred. Terry received a phone call that the MP, Honorable Charles Nyamai, for the Kitui West constituency wanted to have a meeting.
So at 9:30 a car arrived to pick us up. Terry took along a founding member of our Sunshine Coast-Sechelt Rotary Club, Clark Hamilton. Meanwhile the rest of the group headed out on the prearranged tour. We would catch up later after what we were sure would be a courtesy call lasting no more than 10 or 15 minutes.
Well, our meeting lasted almost 2 hours! If I say that it exceeded my wildest imagination, I would not be doing it justice! I have had several correspondences with Charles over the past two years, especially over the past two months. Most recently to reply to his request for a "report" about the results of our drilling.
Imagine our surprise when he informed us that the government water ministry had tried to drill a borehole about a year ago near Kyaithani Secondary School, drilled it to a depth of 150 meters - and found no water! He explained that he was delighted that we had been successful. He then proceeded to say that getting the water that we had found distributed closer to the 3000+ people around Kyaithani was a priority and that he believed that he would be able to get most of the 4 million Kenyan shillings that the government had allocated to the unsuccessful Kyaithani borehole redirected towards a pipeline from the Ndandini well site to the village of Kyaithani!!
The meeting only got better from there. Other potential sources of government funding were outlined. Resources to provide potential assistance in management, proper accounting and fiduciary tracking, and provision of an agronomist were discussed. Frankly, I was astonished. He personally had founded an NGO (non-governmental organization) in 2006, prior to his election as an MP in 2008, to help the area achieve an improved level of economic development. He is the Chairman of a technical services engineering company in Nairobi. He called in seven of the resources from the NGO that he personally supports for them to be a part of the meeting and witness his support of our efforts in Ndandini.
In conclusion, he expressed his hope that we would partner with them in helping with the economic development of the area around Ndandini and Kyaithani. To my surprise, never once was there a request for funding of the NGO. Only a hope that our donors would see the needs of the area and find it in their hearts to continue to support the economic development of the area in whatever way they saw fit.
We too hope that what we have done (to bring water, the greenhouse, solar power for the one primary school, and one TV and computer with internet link) will only be a start in our original dream of "adopting" Ndandini and making our efforts there a model on how others can help other villages "One Village At A Time". I hope that everyone is proud that you are a part of our success! I hope too that we have all learned more about life in villages like Ndandini and have become more sensitive to how a little bit of help applied for specific purposes can make a huge difference to the future of many people.
I will keep you posted on our progress with completing the final phases of our current project: the fencing of the well site, the fencing of the greenhouse/garden area at the Ndandini Primary School, and hopefully the start of a community garden in Ndandini.
Thanks again. Your ongoing interest and support is appreciated.
For anyone interested in communicating directly with the Ndandini school or the Ndandini Water Project Management Committee, we have set up several email addresses, depending on the target audience. I encourage you to start communicating with them. It is amazing what can happen when people around the world start talking and applying their knowledge and resources to problems and opportunities. Be sure to indicate who you are and why you are interested in them and the area.
To reach Kimali, the Chairman of the Ndandini Water Project Management Committee, use email address firstname.lastname@example.org
To reach the headmaster and deputy headmaster (who is also the person responsible for the greenhouse) at Ndandini Primary School use email address email@example.com
To reach the teachers of Ndandini Primary School use email address firstname.lastname@example.org
To reach the students of Ndandini Primary School use email address email@example.com
All email addresses are administered by teachers but corespondance between two individuals is okay as long as email content is appropriate.