TİKA Provided Kenyans Access to Clean Water

Nearly 2,500 Masaai and 1,000 Nkoile students enrolled in boarding schools at the primary and high school level now have access to clean and sustainable water thanks to the Enkare Oltungana "Water First for People" project launched by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).

In order to meet the clean water needs of the Masaai community, known as the protector and source of Kenyan culture in the Bull's Eye District of the Kajiado Province, a new artesian water well was excavated in the region, providing 3,500 people, including boarding school students, with direct access to clean drinking water. The Enkara Oltungana (meaning "Water First for People" in Masaii) Project, fresh water found 160 meters below the ground was connected to a steel water tank via a 2-km water transmission line that uses a solar-powered pumping system. Thanks to the installation of 2 prepaid water meters, the residents of the town of Nkoile are now able to collect resources to ensure the continuity of the water system at a minimum price. The project for water, a scarce resource that is difficult to access, is based on the collection of resources in the management of the public, which will allow for the maintenance and future repairs of the system. The prepaid cards distributed to the users will be charged through the mobile money (MPESA) service; because the maintenance and operation costs will be met through this model and thanks to the keys in the system, water wastage will be prevented and the system will be able to sustain itself.

The project that is jointly carried out by the international NGO Amref Health, which is based in Kenya and is active in all of Africa, and the Governorate of the State of Kajiado has met the water needs of Nkoile, a town that is 120 km from the capital Nairobi. The project aims to reduce water-related diseases, the waiting time at water tankers and the walking distance to receive water; to achieve the water quality in accordance with the World Health Organization standards; and to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals “to ensure universal and fair access to clean and affordable drinking water for all by 2030".

The ceremony was attended by Turkey's Ambassador to Nairobi Ahmet Cemil Miroğlu, Governor of Kajiado Joseph Ole Lenku, Minister for State Water Affairs Michael Serema, Amref's Kenya Director Gilbert Wangalwa, Regional MP for Kajiado Purko Daniel Naikuni, and a great number of locals and students.

During the ceremony, TİKA's Nairobi Program Coordinator Emre Yüksek emphasized that TİKA implemented an ecological project which makes use of new technology in the area of water and sanitation in Kenya and said, "It is very important for such a project to be reducing the drought-related water shortage problems of the people in the region who make a living off of nomadic animal husbandry instead of humanitarian aid. We aim for the dissemination of the self-sustainable pre-payment model to eliminate external dependence."

The Masaai community is a disadvantaged community among other tribes in Kenya, who make a living off of nomadic animal husbandry. In terms of accessing clean water, women and girls, who traditionally take care of the water needs of their animals and families, experience serious problems with time and safety in obtaining water from unhygienic resources located at far distances.