One Year Growth Indicators – Sustainable Development in Kuria, Kenya
It’s wonderful to be back in Kenya! So many things have changed in the community since I was here in Kuria nearly one year ago and then some things haven’t changed a bit, like…
My feet are covered in Kenyan red dirt, the power goes out every day, getting soaked on a motorcycle ride into the bush during a torrential downpour, massive wasps darting at my head, playing charades with the team to blow off some steam (Jake does an amazing Conan O’Brien), mobs of beautiful children repeatedly shouting “How are you?” at me, spirited greetings from my Kurian friends accompanied by firm hand-slaps, meeting a frog in the shower, and a slip and near fall into a pile of cow dung.
As for the things that have changed…
Babies have been born, including one named Nicole! Talk about humbling.
Homes in the community have been upgraded to brick walls (replacing mud and dung) and iron sheeting on roofs (replacing grass thatch) made possible by increased income after a good harvest (made possible by Nuru loans of quality seed and fertilizer).
Local Nuru staff members have definitely increased in their leadership capacity. They’re running meetings and projects now, and they have offices, inside the huge brick building that is the Nuru granary (where all the maize is stored after harvest).
Lucas and Eliza, the Water and Sanitation managers walked with me to Nyametaburo Primary School. My eyes flooded with tears as we entered the school yard and I saw school girls and women pumping CLEAN water from a well with a pump. What a contrast to when these same school girls were kept home from school to walk to the spring and collect water and when the women brought contaminated water home to their families. What has become a part of the landscape here in Kuria, Kenya is awe-inspiring for me.
Although I was very involved in the planning stages – I oversaw the hydrogeology study, worked with the community to identify good locations for the wells, coached Lucas through navigating the permit process, spoke to a group of college students who helped raise money through Be Hope to Her to raise money for the wells, and even worked with Living Water International to get a driller to Kuria- I had never actually seen the deep wells that were drilled back in August with my own eyes.
Up next week, we meet with the locally led well committees and we’ll continue listening to determine the direction we need to take in the coming months.