Kanthi village is located in a remote part of Mutomo district in Kenya. This village has an estimated 250 families. Their water was supplied by a seasonal dam which was dependent on rain. Just like many other parts of East Africa and the horn of Africa, this village has suffered effects of prolonged drought leaving the residents with no choice but to depend on well wishers for their daily meals as well as walking for at least 8Km (each way) in search of water.
As it is the duty of women and girls to provide food for their families, they have had to walk a 16Km round trip to get piped water from the district headquarters. Women and girls would carry water on their back or head or on a donkey if the family was privileged enough to have one. Mercy, a 14 year old girl, was not spared the daily walk even at her tender age.
During this time many girls were forced to drop out of school as the daily walk for water, often on empty stomachs, took its toll. Residents unable to grow their own food turned to donors and well wishers for their food supply. Such has been the Women’s Friendship Group’s support through the President Helen Jurcevic who ensured a steady supply of maize through the toughest of times in 2011.
In 2012 the Women’s Friendship Group and people of Manningham walked for water for Kanthi. Over 100 people walked at Ruffey Lake Park on April 21st, 2012, raising over $28,000 for their efforts. Since then, the committee has managed to raise an additional $10,000 bringing total raised to just under $40,000!
With this money, the Women’s Friendship Group have managed a project to extend the water pipes 8km from the headquarters to the village. This extension has ensured access to clean water in the village through the year with or without rains.
Completing this project under budget, greenhouses were then established allowing the village to grow a tomato crop. Not only did the crop feed the village, but the people of Kanthi were able to sell excess crop and use the money to invest in additional food.
In 2014 a second fundraiser was held in the form of a film screening. The money raised from this event enabled the establishment of a nursery school and medical dispensary, with construction starting in early 2015 on a registered Medical Centre.
To stay up to date with the project, please enter your email address below. If you’d like to help support the work of the Women’s Friendship Group in Kanthi, we would greatly appreciate a donation.