The water is flowing.....

I sit here at this table in a quiet house, while 5 of our children, their cousins, my husband, and a favorite uncle sleep soundly as the waves crash on the shore of Lake Michigan….the irony is not lost on me. I’m drinking the first of my daily cups of boiling hot tea. The water came from the faucet. On my way out to the quiet living room I noticed our bedroom floor was damp. My husband must have awoken sometime in the night and closed the French doors to the beach because the rain was coming in.

A child rolls the family empty water jerrican to the truck delivery site. Photo by David Muchui

A child rolls the family empty water jerrican to the truck delivery site. Photo by David Muchui



I have received a lot of questions about what is happening now with the fundraiser for water in Marsabit County, in the drylands of Northern Kenya. It seemed that the easiest thing to do is to write a blog post and share it rather than try and do little social media posts in bits and pieces, here and there. I can not stress enough that I am relaying it as I know it, for more in-depth explanations I encourage you to speak directly to the Kenya Drylands Education Fund - www.kdef.org. Co-founders Sarah Hadden and Ahmed Kura will be able to give you so much more information, as will their board members.

For me this story started a couple of years ago. I had heard about KDEF (formerly KURA) for years from my children. Our high schoolers and middle schoolers spoke about it often and passionately for they were learning about this local Vermont organization at school.. Kenya Drylands Education Fund is an organization that is working very hard and very creatively to encourage, empower, and facilitate educating girls in Northern Kenya.

Here is some information from their website…

OUR MISSION

The mission of The KURA Project is to improve educational opportunities for the underserved population of northern Kenya.

THE GOAL

Laisamis District in Northern Kenya is one of the poorest areas in Kenya where 74% to 97% of the people survive on less than $1 per day. According to the Kenya Human Rights Commission:"Schools are insufficient, with enrollment of 25% of children in primary school against a national average of over 99%. Literacy and completion rates are also the lowest in the country".

By increasing school attendance, especially for female students in primary schools, providing the basic supplies, and sponsoring students through secondary school, The KURA Project seeks to advance the cause of education and future opportunity for this underserved population. 

 The KURA Project (Now KDEF) ensures even the smallest contributions goes a long way. programs are inspiring to say the least.

Please see www.kdef.org for more information.

Our family, both Don and I, and our children on their own have supported this organization for the past couple of years. We are proud sponsors to high achieving student Serafina.

The organization is run both in the US and in Kenya. Co- Founder Sarah Hadden and the board members are located in our community here in Southern Vermont. Co-founder Ahmed Kura runs the program in Kenya. Sarah travels to Kenya frequently and our Vermont community is so happy to welcome Ahmed Kura whenever possible.

I first learned about the complete and total drought when Kura was in Vermont visiting Sarah. The Kenya Drylands Education Fund held their annual luncheon fundraiser/information event for their education programs. They spoke about the water needs among many other glorious projects that they have in the works. A few days later we hosted a dinner at our house for some KDEF folks who are headed to Africa in the fall. It was at that point that I asked Ahmed Kura how much water actually costs. I mulled over the conversation and answers for about two weeks and awoke one morning and called Sarah and asked how I could help get water to the drought areas. The needs seemed daunting…until the rest of you jumped on the crazy water truck bandwagon with me!! As a group we are creating magic. Pure wonderful water magic!!


Some of you have asked me some questions and I would like to share the answers as I know them.


How many trucks are needed?

There are four villages in dire drought conditions. Each village of 1000 people need 2 trucks of water delivered her month. A larger 13,000 liter truck of water costs $350 ($320 for the water, $30 for the driver and delivery.) Each village needs $700 dollars in water to be stable for the month. Each village needs these two 13,000 liter trucks to get them until the rainy season in December.


How much of my donation for water goes to actually getting water to these people? 100 percent. There are NO fees being taken by this organization. Their goal is to educate girls. Delivering water is an emergency project. They are spending every dollar that is donated for water on water.

Ahmed Kura, co-founder of the Kenya Drylands Education Fund, is in Marsabit County in Northern Kenya with water trucks donated by our group. Here he is helping fill families’ water buckets. This photo comes from the Kenya News and was taken by David Muchui

Ahmed Kura, co-founder of the Kenya Drylands Education Fund, is in Marsabit County in Northern Kenya with water trucks donated by our group. Here he is helping fill families’ water buckets. This photo comes from the Kenya News and was taken by David Muchui



Is my credit card safe on their website? Yes, they use the same web host and merchant system that I do. It is the same system used by many businesses and shops you frequent. If you prefer you can mail them a check at KDEF PO Box 505 Manchester VT 05354.



How much money are you trying to raise to sustain these 4 villages until the rains? 2 trucks per month for each of 4 villages, so 700 x 4 per month. We need to do this for 5 months. The total we need to get the water to these families is $14,000 for 40 trucks. Last I heard we had raised about 19 truckloads of water. I am in awe that we are almost half way to our goal! There is no donation that is too small. I am much more interested in getting a community of people to donate water and be aware of this issue than just a couple of donors. We are also hosting a potluck event at our home in Southern Vermont on August 3rd to try and raise more money and awareness. Again, no donation is too small. This is a group effort.


What is the current status of the operation: Within days of our donations arriving the KDEF got water trucks to all 4 towns in the most dire need. The grateful families had me in tears. Some of the women were washing themselves soon as they got a bucket of water. I saw live videos of the first delivery. The cell service is not very good there, so we are getting photos sporadically. Ahmed Kura is on site supervising the delivery and sending greetings to the people from all of you who are donating.

When will this end? I am committed to doing what I can to get this water to flow until December when the rains come. This is just a temporary emergency need. The Kenya Drylands Education Fund (KDEF) will continue to supervise water delivery until December but also continue to do their wonderful work of providing feminine hygiene products, providing scholarships for achieving students, and running student mentoring programs. This water delivery is a temporary emergency project for them.

How can I help? The way to help is to make a donation of whatever you feel comfortable donating for emergency water delivery to Marsabit County. You can do it online, via check, or come to our fundraiser and put something in the bucket. Online delivery is available at www.kdef.org, they are currently earmarking all funds collected through this campaign for the water delivery.

For the full news article please see this link. In it they mentioned 12,000 liter trucks of water. Thanks to your support the KDEF is able to secure and deliver 13,000 liter trucks of drinking water to these areas in great need.

www.nation.co.ke/counties/marsabit/Thousands-in-Marsabit-face-starvation/3444778-5204518-1dlwpd/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3h2NbAYkl2IVzCVYv-eGK3JlRTYZ8VIGgt071HkQjHqlNFGivV4bHSQBU

Thank you so very much!!



Tricia













Tricia HeatonComment