Vattentankar i Kenya started by Karin Norlin as a private project in 2004. Since 2006 the project sorts under Caritas in Lund. International Caritas shares the mission of the Catholic Church to serve the poor and to promote charity and justice throughout the world. Since April 2016 Anna Stjärne Aspelund succeeded Karin Norlin as chair and project responsible in Sweden.
Mutomo is a small town 300 km in the southeast of Kenya, a very dry region with semi
desert, bush land and rock formations. It is estimated to be the third poorest district in Kenya.
Access to water is a major problem in the area. There are no natural lakes or rivers and drilled wells give salty water that requires desalination. People use natural or built rock catchments for collection of rainwater or earth dams during the raining season. The catchments are often located far from villages and rural settlements. Women and children carry water for many hours each day and this is one of the reasons that children drop out of school.
Vattentankar i Kenya provide a water supply by the house to the most vulnerable and poor families in the area, education in water, hygiene and sanitation and also provide family planning. Beneficiary families are mainly composed of single mothers or grandmothers with more than 5 children under the age of 12. Families are identified in collaboration with the home care team from Mutomo Mission Hospital and community workers in the villages.
Building of a house with roof gutters to collect rainwater into a closed water tank built beside the house. By having a water supply on the compound many hours of carrying water are spared each day. The children can go to school instead of carrying water and the mother can concentrate on trying to find a way of income, for example by joining a micro finance project. The house provides better living standard with the possibility to keep snakes and other animal outside (snake bites being a major problem among young children) and to prevent thefts and assaults. The old straw hut can be used as separate kitchen. Teaching in water supply maintenance, sanitation and hygiene is provided. Counselling in family planning and provision of contraceptive methods.
Remmy Kamya, previously head of laboratory and microbiology department at Mutomo Mission Hospital for 35 years, coordinates building and material supply, assess families in need, provides teaching in water supply maintenance, sanitation and hygiene. Sister Mary Mulva assess families and provides counselling, family planning as well as teaching of sanitation and hygiene. Beside the project she is involved in community work in many aspects and has been working as a nurse in the home care and outreach team from Mutomo Mission Hospital. Frank Kali has a diploma in social work and is involved in both the building process and in counselling each family according to their needs. We work in close collaboration with community workers and village chiefs.
In total 333 (January 2023) water tanks and houses have been built. The expense for one water tank with a house is about 20 000 SEK. The sites are now located far from Mutomo, up to 2-3 hours by car, and transports are complicated due to mud roads in very poor conditions. Bricks are bought and produced locally in the area where we build. Manual workers are hired locally to provide possibility for income and knowledge in building techniques.
The project has been funded by donations from Tetra Laval and Volvo Employees Aid Association (VHU) as well as by donations from many private persons and groups.
The project has no administrative costs in Sweden.
Contributions to the project are most welcome!
Bankgiro: 53 53 – 12 24
Anna Stjärne Aspelund