The Water of Life
Although the Maasai have a rich cultural heritage, which has been critical in marketing Kenya as a tourist destination, parts of Maasailand, including Narok, remain critically underdeveloped. Many Narok residents apparently feel so isolated that when they travel to the capital city of Kenya, they often say, “We are going to Kenya.”
Few in Narok have had access to clean water, health facilities or basic education, despite massive tourist spending in nearby Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Against this background, USAID is working to improve water and sanitation development in the region. Presently more than five water wells have been sunk in the district to serve the resi-dents– courtesy of USAID through World Concern’s Water Development Program.
The project has dramatically changed the lives of some local residents.
One woman recounts: “Before this water well was built, we use to get water from very far. We used to share water from a hand-dug dam with domestic and wild animals. The dam is 15 km away from this water well. The water from the hand-dug dam was dirty, and we used to have many cases of diarrhea and stomachaches. Even cooking with this water was extremely difficult.”
“Our children no longer get sick as often as they used to before this well was done; there is no more dirty clothing and sharing water with domestic and wild animals,” said another resident praising the project.