By Siana Leresh and Priscah Loremoi
It is 6:30 AM. Nashaki wakes up, picks up her bucket and rushes out of the dormitory. There has been a prolonged drought and her feet, all brown in the August dust, sink into stagnant water as she fetches water from a nearby community waterpoint. More girls join her with jerry cans and buckets to fetch water for morning duties and breakfast.
The main source of water at Loosuk, where the Samburu Girls’ Foundation is located, is such waterpoints, which often run dry, especially during dry seasons.
According to the center manager, Ms. Cecilia Nduta, the main source of water at the the center is rain. Long dry weather conditions often cause the tank taps to run dry.
The little water available is used by the children to clean spaces like the dining hall and dormitory, cooking in the kitchen, washing their clothes and bathing among other uses.
“This water hardly lasts a week when all the girls are at the center during school breaks.” She said.
Although the water is clean, the drainage at the waterpoint is poor and water stagnates due to the topography of land.Anita Catherine, a girl at Samburu Girls Foundation said that queues are always long and the girls often waste a lot of time fetching water. Conflict with the locals often ensues when the girls are a many.
To mitigate the shortage of water, the Samburu Girls Foundation regularly buys water and is delivered using trucks. This is costly, therefore, to supplement the shortage, the girls fetch water from alternative sources. Besides hydro panels installed by a renewable company, Zero Mass, at the center, a neighbor sometimes helps with water for cooking.
These alternative sources of water at the center do not provide enough water to run the center.
According to the security guard, Mr. Isaac Lekopien, girls also have to be accompanied to waterpoints.
“We cannot guarantee that they shall always be secure on their own,” he said. “Sometimes we borrow water from our neighbors.”
According to Rixson Joshua, a High school girl at the center, having enough water available at the center will help her get more time for studies and improve hygiene at the center.