The Water Team
The team that is traveling with me this trip all have an interest in water – both access to water and clean water. Tom is with FirstWater, Inc.. He partnered with us in August cost-sharing for a water filter that we took to Marsabit. Belinda is the Director of the Joe Beasley Foundation. Mr. Beasley has faithfully followed the work of Partners for Care for several years. We have wanted to work together and have come together on this water project. Deb has been to Kenya many times and is here to help us connect with other programs and to “see” the Partners for Care programs.
This team has done what some would call crazy. We flew in Sunday night and within four hours we were on our way to Marsabit. Only those who have gone to Marsabit know what it is like. We travel 10-12 hours north from Nairobi – six hours which is off-road through the desert. Off-roading looks fun on the TV commercials but soon gets very tiresome.
But, they endured and we arrived in Masabit at noon on Monday. We were anxious to go see the Gabra tribe. (For more on the Gabra tribe read the blog on www.partnersforcare.org for the August mission trip).
Our vehicle stuck in sand in Marsabit
The children’s feet that we treated in August for jiggers were still healed and Jane who we taught how to treat the jiggers had helped more children with the supplies we left her. We saw and held the baby that was born the day we did the medical camp. She is 3 months old and looked good. The next day we went to see the Rendile tribe. We arrived in time to see 65 little children sitting on the floor in a one room small building reciting their lessons. Their teacher is paid $10.00 a month. They were precious all reciting their lessons as one of the little three year olds led them using his stick baton to point out the phonetic sounds on the chalk board.
We had brought supplies to treat the jiggers but the children needed more than treated for jiggers. They seemed sicker than when we were there in August. We triaged the children assessing what medicines they needed. We were not there to do a medical camp so we did not have medicines. 26 children had fungus infections on their heads, two with ear infections so bad you didn’t need an otoscope to diagnose and 3 possible cases of malaria.
Without medicine we couldn’t help. We drove to the closest place where the Rendile have medical care – 5 miles away. There were two nurses working there and we asked one to come with us with the medicine needed to treat the children. It was a blessing to see the children get treated.
The Water Team came to assess the water situation for these tribes. Everywhere they saw women and children either going to fetch water, waiting in line for water or returning from fetching water – walking with the familiar yellow jugs on their backs. We were able to meet with the Kenya government officials – water management, enviorment impact and the Public Health Officer for Marsabit. All of them were very helpful sharing what has happened to both secure water and clean what and what is planned. We learned there is 80% illiteracy in Marsabit with a population of 200,000. The top three illnesses are upper respiratory, malaria and diarrhea. The diarrhea is related to the poor quality of water. We saw most of the water sources in Marsabit. We also saw a program in progress for harvesting the mist to use as water.
We asked what they believe are the things to do to help improve the water situation. Their answer:
1. harvest water with rain guards and tanks all public buildings – schools, churches, etc
2. trucks with water tanks to distribute water
3. education of the people on safe water
We saw the progress on the PFC Hope Farm. This farm is growing food to feed the many orphans in this area. The ground has been tilled and some plantings are in. We have purchased a water tank that will help with watering the plants.
There was a lot accomplished in two days. The team worked from early morning until late at night…with no complaining. We are now on our way back to Nairobi.
Deb with a child in Marsabit
A child drinking water directly off a water tap
At Dr. Lumumba’s office
Left for this team – medical camps with PLO Lumumba’s Foundation and work with Nick and Charles and other programs the team members need to connect with.
Praying to help the people of Marsabit,
Connie Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry
Thank you so much for including the Foundation. Although we don’t have money at this moment just to have a presence in the person of Belinda is a blessing. As always your report is very touching. May God continue to bless Partners for Care as you serve G od’s people. Give me a call when you can. Give Belinda and other team members my love.