This Initiative proposes to build a rainwater harvest system in the village of Olare Olok in Narok county, Kenya.
The Maasai communities living in Narok county on the borders of the Maasai Mara Reserve are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Testimonies from the people living in this area speak of increasingly unpredictable rainfall patterns, lower precipitation, increased temperatures and longer dry seasons. They attribute this to the effects of climate change, which they say are negatively impacting the availability of water resources for human use and the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. Climate variability, along with population growth and economic activity such as tourism and livestock production, is threatening the equilibrium of the ecosystem and causing damage to biodiversity and Maasai health and livelihoods.
The population of the village currently has no other option but to consume unsafe polluted water gathered directly from the nearby Talek river or from temporary unprotected springs which disappear in the dry season. Children are particularly hit by water-related diseases such as typhoid fever, hepatitis A and diarrhoea which can all be easily prevented with access to safe water resources. Building a rainwater harvest system using the roof of the school building and a water collection tank is a critical priority for the community in the village.
The proposed rainwater harvest system will directly provide year-round access to safe drinking water for the 325 students of Olare Olok school, ages 5 to 13, and the 9 school staff. The surplus of water harvested during the months of the rainy season will also provide a safe and more accessible source of drinking water to the whole population of Olare Olok area – approximately 1,000 people in 170 households. Upon completion, the 325 children attending the school will have 1-2 liters of safe drinking water per day, resulting in a significant decrease in water-related diseases. Availability of water at the school will limit direct human contact with wildlife during water collection trips to the river, reduce the burden of fetching water for women and children and significantly improve the health and hygiene situation in the village.