This is a follow up summary of the trip on 30th & 31st Aug, 2014 by team HAO and RC-GRV. Indeed many thanks to everyone who made this a smooth journey for us all including area senior Chief Mr. Peter. The Sub-County Commissioner’s assurance was also timely as to the reception from the villagers who shared information with us on the water projects and life in general. Many of us made new friends.
The Caravan left Nakuru for Marigat via Eminning junction by 7:20 A.M. Members had breakfast and shopping at Marigat trading centre before departing. Our next point to note was Loruk trading centre where members enjoyed smooth newly constructed tarmac road. Loruk Centre is the border between East Pokot (Pokot Community) and Baringo Central (Tugen Community).
We then proceeded via Chesirimion where we took photos of Ostriches and young Morans with a bicycle (HAO sponsored Antony Kipturu from Chesirimion Primary. He’s currently a Form 1 student at Barpello High) to Oron SDA Water Project.
Oron-SDA Water Project
This water project was drilled by Kenya Army while on their training in the District but it was equipped by SDA Church Headquarter. The project has since received visiting quests and supplies of pipes from the Church. As extensively explained to members, the water is good but has a colouration. The water is brown in colour but purely sweet to drink. They have also done piping and constructed water kiosks (shops/fetching points) to Nginyang centre, Kokore village and Ng’alekan but they are yet to be used. Taps are only functional at the point (Pokot Worship Centre).
The County Engineer did told me that this project generates 100,000 Liters and 6 cubic meters per hour (I’m not sure whether I captured those terms correctly but the figures are right. He said it’s more than enough water and the county may be planning to fund its extension to other villages.
We then proceeded to Nginyang trading centre where we met the Sub-County Commissioner, Loyamorok Location Senior Chief and Silale Location Senior Chief. These two Locations make Mondi Division. Silale Senior Chief would thereafter be part of the team throughout the trips. Members also got to meet Sharon Kolem-another HAO beneficiary who is a Form 1 student at Eldama Ravine Girls.
After Nginyang, we proceeded to Nalekat Water Project.
Nalekat Water Project
This project is not functioning. The salinity is high and the temperature too. There is no activity taking place here. The funding body for this project was the Government of Belgium. According to the County Engineer (as per my just concluded phone call to him), the future of this project is limited because his office is yet to discover a process or solution to the salinity.
From here, we proceeded to Merkalei Pan but we did not stop to check it. We headed straight to Napeikore Water Pan. Here, members had interaction with cattle herders. Napeikore has potential land for agriculture capable of feeding the entire District if irrigated.
After photo session and cultural exchanges, we proceeded to Natan Water Project.
Natan Water Project
This water project is not functioning. It uses fuel-powered generator/motor and the water is extremely hot and saline. It has a cement-made tank and a trough for animals use.
We then went to Nakoko borehole.
Nakoko Water Project
This project has good water. It has a tank and is powered by few solar panels. The well was not drilled to the recommended depth but just few meters downward and when water was found, the driller stopped there. This translated to low yield that could not be piped to nearby villages. The existing possibilities were to re-drill the well further down and increase solar panels and add another tank that was to be installed at the top of a nearby hill.
Upon contacting the County Engineer today about the Well, he acknowledged that indeed the borehole was not drilled any further. He also said that the yield is low and extending pipes and powering more water per day will see the borehole go dry. On re-drilling, he said that would be dangerous because anything can happen if the borehole is damaged or fail to get water and by that render it dysfunctional, the community reaction can be hostile. It means losing their only source of water. His advised was to drill a new borehole within the proximity of the existing site. This new borehole according to him can then be equipped and piped to quench Malumng’al, Napeikore and even Natan Villages. The hill will assert enough pressure. On whether a survey has been done by his office near the Nakoko borehole, the Engineer said no and that there is need to conduct one.
From Nakoko, our caravan crossed river Nginyang at Chesakam
and proceeded to Sokorwo Village where we stopped to interact with a family.
Our next stop was at Chemolingot Trading Centre where we were received by Yusuf Isaack’s family (Courtesy of HAO, Yusuf and Jackline each secured 4-years scholarship to join USIU. He has since undergone orientation at the University from 1st Sept, 2014 with the rest of the Freshmen).
Yusuf parents organized and paid for meals (supper) for all our members at Chemolingot. Our dear Rotarians spent the night a Chemolingot Civil Servants’ Club famously known as Guest House. Some members spent the night a local Lodgings.
Day 2 of our trip, we assembled at Chemolingot Guest House before proceeding to say bye to Yusuf’s family. We picked up Yusuf because he was to be admitted at USIU on Monday 1st Sept. There was enough space in the Van. We then headed to pick Chief Peter for the day’s survey. After which we proceeded to meet Fredrick Lowoi and his family at home (Another HAO High School Beneficiary. He’s a Form 1 student at Barpello High).
We then headed straight to Riong’o Project past Nalekat Water Project which we had visited the day before and Merkalei water Pan.
Riong’o Water Project
This project is possibly the most expensive endeavor in the entire District and yet apart from the fact that it’s not functioning, it also has very high salinity and temperatures. There is many solar panels installed (20 according to my count.) that generates 24 Volts. The funding body is World Vision. Like Nalekat, the future of this project seem to be fading. The County Engineer could not even comment on it.
From Riong’o, we proceeded to Naudo Water Project.
Naudo Water Project
Here, there are two Boreholes drilled but are yet to be equipped. One was funded by Geothermal Development Company (GDC). Another one was funded by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). Both boreholes has good water. Members were interested in visiting the JICA site because it has taken 10 years its drilling without being equipped. The GDC borehole will be completed by GDC. They have also another borehole at Akwichatis under the same state.
The County Engineer advised that JICA are planning to equip their borehole. There is no timeline to this but he made it possible that another organization cannot equip this project because JICA still has plans.
Being that our Van could not cope with terrains towards Akwichatis and further to Nasurut to visit a proposed borehole site which was postponed by the ministry, our team turned back from Naudo to Nginyang where Chief alighted. We then arrived back to Nakuru by 6:20P.M, 31st Aug. Charles, Yusuf and myself then said bye to the Rotarians and headed to Nairobi. We arrived at 11:09P.M.
To conclude, the following was observed.
- Most of the herding lot are children within the age of school-going children.
- The community are not aware on the funding institutions or state of any of the water projects erected in their soil because they were not involved during the process.
- Human activities were observed in areas where water was found. Other areas were deserted.
- Pokot population and settlement is extremely sparse.
- Life was plenty because the District had received rain. Cows, goats, Camel and Donkeys were on sight. Shrubs were also turning or had turned green while normally dry rivers like Nginyang were flowing.
- Villagers admitted that some level of saline water were good for livestock. Animals get dewormed and healthy. People consume them where they can because there was not alternative source.
- The “road” were foot paths that has since been expanded to accommodate few coming vehicles. The villagers were made to do this in exchange of relief food by the administration under the guidance of Chiefs. Relief food are meant to be free but the government has since invented (food for work). The state of such roads were poor. Luckily, the terrains were plains and our Van occasionally drove through areas without any road.