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Kenya: water from a rock for 5,000 drought-affected people

09-06-2011 News Release 11/131

Nairobi (ICRC) – The Red Cross has completed a new water project that will benefit some 5,000 residents of the Ol Donyiro area in northern Kenya. The Kawalash rock catchment system, as it is known, will be handed over to the community on 13 June.

"Until now, the nearest water source the community could rely on was in an unsafe area about 10 kilometres away, so this new project will definitely help to ease the burden of finding clean drinking water close by," said Oscar Nabiswa, a water engineer working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kenya.

The project was financed by the ICRC and finalized in cooperation with the Kenya Red Cross Society. Two large water tanks have been built that can collect 100,000 litres of water each. The rock catchment will improve access to water while also reducing the risk of water-borne disease. A water point has been built for pastoralists and a nearby water trough enables livestock, which residents depend on to earn a living, to get water.

Men and women from the community took part in the construction work under the supervision of the area chief. Community members were provided with training that will enable them to operate the system and maintain hygiene without outside assistance.

For further information, please contact:
Anne Mucheke, ICRC Nairobi, tel: ++254 272 3963 or ++254 733 660076