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Wells at Tulia: God's Answer to Prayers

wellsDuring the first trip to visit Erastus in Kenya in 1997, we became aware of the importance of clean quality drinking water. The people and animals share the streams and during the dry season the streams dry up. Women and children may walk miles to find a supply of water for family survival. In 2001 we attempted to use the hand percussion well drilling technique to drill a well on the church property. The equipment was manufactured in Arkansas and shipped by cargo to Kenya. Twenty men in 3 days were able to drill 25 feet, with the last 5 feet being solid rock. A visit with the Deputy Water Minister of Kenya made it possible to get a geological survey. The survey said a 400 foot deep well would yield a supply of water of high mineral content not suitable for drinking. We considered hiring a drilling rig to drill, installing an elevated wall storage tank, and purchasing a windmill to power the pump. When the price became $35,000 we decided to look for other options.
In 2003, the Danish Red Cross picked the Tulia area of Kenya to provide assistance. The Danish and Kenyan government asked the people to form a community committee to determine their number one need. Erastus Kavuti (evangelist at Kavonge) was a member of that committee. The committee agreed that their number one need was water. They were told if the local people could raise $3,500 they would dig two wells (they call them boreholes). The local people raised $1,500. When we brought Erastus to the U.S. in September of 2003, he told us about the situation and asked if the church would consider donating $2,000 to the project. We agreed and when Erastus retuned home with the check the entire community was overjoyed. It became another example of the “church that cares.” Without the money, the Danish Red Cross was two days away from eliminating the drilling project.
The two boreholes are now capable of providing enough water for 10,000 people. The International Red Cross has paid for two diesel powered generators, the well pumps, the pump houses, and the elevated water storage tanks. Water costing 1 cent/gallon is distributed at the well sites but the lines are long and many people walk long distances to reach the well. World Vision has donated 1600 feet of PVC pipe to develop another water distribution point up the mountainside. The pump at the well site could be used to pump water but another 24,000-liter water storage tank is needed at the new distribution point. The cost of developing each additional distribution point (called water kiosk) would be $1800 to $2000. Let us know if you can fund another water kiosk.

Importance of Clean Fresh Drinking Water

  • 15,000 people die every day from diseases related to contaminated water.
  • More than one fifth of the people on earth are without safe water
  • 80% of sickness and death among children is caused by unsafe water
  • Every eight seconds a child dies of a water-related disease.
  • Lack of quality water means that women and children spend considerable time and energy getting and carrying water
  • Drinking from and bathing in polluted water supplies are among the most common routes for the spread of infectious diseases
  • Nearly half of the world’s population suffers from water-related diseases.
    - these diseases are the single largest killers of infants in
    developing countries
    - diarrhea alone cause 4 million deaths each year
    - access to safe water is directly linked to the survival of children
    under age five
  • At any given time perhaps one-half of all peoples in the developing world are suffering from one or more of the six main diseases associated with water supply and lack of sanitation
 

Well for Zombe      

wellZombe is located close to a river, but the river becomes dry sand during the dry season. During the dry season church members walked across the dry river bed to a livestock tank next to a shallow well for baptisms. During the past year we have provided funding to hand dig a well. A 30 foot well has been dug and has water 5 feet from the top. The soil has now been filled in around the brick lined well. A cover needs to be added to the well and a hand pump with piping installed.

 

Impact of Famine Relief to Kenya   

famine reliefIn 2006 our brothers and sisters in Kenya suffered from famine brought about by a severe drought. From May through October 2006, we asked for donations to provide famine relief assistance. People from Illinois, Michigan, Arkansas, and Tennessee contributed $9,000. This money was wired in four installments to our three congregations in Kenya.
Famine relief funds enable food distribution to many families, paid hospital bills, purchased an artificial leg for David at the Masaani congregation, provided assistance with school fees, and purchase hybrid seed for planting at the beginning of the rainy season.
With the 2008 dry season crop failure, famine returned to Kenya. In addition to food shortages the worldwide economic conditions have made food expensive to buy. During Erastus’ trip to the US in September, 2008 $5000 for famine relief was raised. James reported that the maize, beans, and salt were distributed to 190 families bringing “joy to the church and glory to God”. An additional $1000 was contributed after Erastus returned home and has been sent to Kenya. We will continue to monitor the famine situation and the potential need to sent more money to purchase food. Let us know if you would like to help.
With the famine our educational sponsorship program becomes even more important. The money that poor families have is used to buy enough food to survive day by day. In Kenya, primary schooling (grades 1-8) is provided, but secondary school (grades 9-12) is typically in a boarding school and very expensive for the parents. Children who do not receive secondary school training have little hope of working in good jobs. Without secondary school training they typically become shepherds or house servants receiving very low wages (approximately $28/month). Secondary school fees for a boarding school are generally around $500/year. Without a good education, you and your family are trapped in poverty with little anticipation of ever climbing out. We have requests from 61 students (orphans or members of very poor families) seeking assistance for secondary school fees. If you would like to sponsor a child’s education contact us.

 

Eastern Kenya Kitui District Health Care

Mobile Medical Clinic

kidsJames Kitengu is our medical missionary. He is licensed by the government to operate a medical clinic and trained to preach the Gospel. He travels on his motorcycle or by bus to the three congregations to treat patients and preach the Gospel. During the famine in 2006 and 2008 many patients were treated for no charge. Many health problems treated by James are associated with poor nutrition and contaminated water. James treats a wide range of problems from malnutrition to malaria, typhoid, AIDS, and parasitic worms as well as bandaging wounds, treating infections, pulling teeth, and dispensing eye glasses. He also does AIDS prevention programs from time to time at local schools. For some people the mobile medical clinic is their only access to health care. As an example of the help being provided, we observed while in Kenya in July, 2008 James diagnosis and provide medicine for a one year old baby with malaria and pneumonia. The young mother paid $1.50 for the examination and the medicine.
Since the beginning of the clinic 7 years ago James has treated approximately 5500 patients..

Community Health Care Workers

Recently James has trained community health care workers in three communities to deal with simple illnesses. They have been taught medical terminology, medicine abbreviations, and examination procedures. They have been taught about symptoms and treatment for malaria, amombiasis, typhoid, respiratory diseases, diarrhea and vomiting, intestinal worms, burns, poisoning, AIDS, and dehydration. These community-based workers are under James’ oversight and dispense medicine from a locking cabinet. These cabinets are located in a room provided by local churches. These cabinets are similar in contents to a medicine cabinet that we have in homes in the U.S. (Band-Aids, bandages, pain killers, antiseptic ointment, antibiotic cream, eye drops, hydrogen peroxide, etc.). The local helpers call James when emergencies occur and when the problem is beyond the scope of their training. James spends one day/week at each community.

Diagnostic Lab Request

James has requested a diagnostic lab and we are seeking funding to make it happen. The ability to do lab tests of various types would help with diagnosis of diseases and would expand the good that could be accomplished through the mobile medical clinic. There is no diagnostic lab in the area. The start up equipment and supplies would cost $2500 (see list below) and a part-time lab technician would cost $135/month. The two rooms (a waiting room and laboratory room) would cost $170/month. Once the lab is set up James predicts that the test fees would provide the money needed to replenish needed supplies and possibly the room rent. The salary of the lab tech ($135/month) would be the main on going expense.

 

Building Church Buildings

dMasaani and Zombe have temporary church buildings. Abraham has 3 years of vocational training and has also been trained at the Nairobi Great Commission School to teach the Gospel. His ability to draw building plans, do concrete work, and lay bricks are quite helpful. He is currently directing the church members at Masaani in the construction of their new church building. The brick walls, the wooden trusses, and the metal roofing hare been completed. The concrete floor is being installed. Plans are underway to build two primary school classrooms.
At Zombe the hand dug well is being completed and a new latrine has been dug. Fencing is being installed around the church property. A medical clinic room and a sewing/tailoring room are being built. A footing is being dug for their new church building.
The Kivaki congregation is buying land in preparation to build a church building. They currently rent a room in a school.

 

Secondary School Student Sponsorship

s In Kenya parents pay for two years of pre-school so that their children will be able to attend primary school. Primary school for the most part is free. Parents pay some fees, purchase school uniforms, and buy some supplies. Due to a lack of paper and pencils math problems are often written on the ground with a stick. Secondary schools are usually boarding schools and are paid for by the parents. Children without a secondary school education are destined to become shepherds and house servants receiving very low pay. During the famine of 2006 some of our relief funds were used to help pay school fees for poor families. As we realize the importance of education and this ongoing need to help with educational expenses, we have established a “sponsor a student” program. Fees for one year of secondary school usually are around $500 per year. In 2008 we have 44 American families sponsoring 45 Kenyan children. In 2009 we have 61 students who have requested a sponsor. These children are ether orphans or from very poor families. Let us know if you would like to sponsor a student. We hope that students and sponsoring families will exchange letters and get acquainted with each other.

 

Building a Church Supported Secondary School

Most secondary schools in Kenya are boarding schools. Boarding costs add to the price of an education and require the young people to be separated from their family at a very impressionable time in their life. The Kavonge Church of Christ at Tulia would like to start a non-boarding church sponsored secondary school. We have purchased 16.5 acres that Erastus has described as the perfect site for a school. The soil is suitable making bricks, electricity is available, a stream is nearby, and the site has an area appropriate for agricultural development. At the school we will be able to teach the basics along with job skills such as sewing/tailoring, welding, carpentry, computers, etc. In addition we will be able to share the Gospel and help the students come to know Jesus. During the school breaks in April, August, and December we plan to use the facilities and land to teach adults survival gardening and drip irrigation. We hope that the Nairobi Great Commission School will use the facilities during the time the secondary school is on break as an extension site to train preachers.
In 2008 the Kenyans are making bricks, preparing to dig a well, surveying the land, selecting school board members, and planning construction. In the U.S. we are raising funds ($12,000 to date) and assisting with the development of a master plan and timeline. We are hoping to complete two classrooms, a principal’s office, a kitchen, and eating area by January 2010 so that the freshman and sophomore classes can begin. The next phase will include more classrooms, a shop for teaching job skills, and a library/computer lab so that the junior and senior class may be added. Eventually adding dormitories would provide a boarding school option for students who live far away. We will continue to raise funds to complete the school buildings, equip the school, and drill a well. We estimate the cost to complete the buildings, equip the school, and drill a well at $100,000. Let us know if you can help.

 

Church Sponsored Pre-School Programs

aThe Zombe Church currently has a 3 year pre-school program involving 60 children. The pre-school is one half day, five days per week. Parents pay a small fee and the children get a cup of porridge (corn meal and water) for lunch each day. Two years of pre-school are required before a student can be accepted into primary school. The students receive religious training as well as learning numbers, letters, etc. The students are well behaved and very attentive. Jeremy reports that their pre-school graduates are doing well in primary school. Jeremy and his wife Moli are the teachers.
The Masaani Church has just started a pre-school program. Their teacher, Felister, was trained with famine relief funds. She has a U.S. sponsor that is paying her wages. Their pre-school started with 13 students.
While some teaching materials and supplies have been taken to Kenya for Bible classes and the pre-school program, more supplies would be helpful. Also funding assistant teachers would allow more students to be served. Anne (Abraham’s wife) has recently started the pre-school teacher-training program.

Community Development Proposals

aProposals developed my the people of Tulia with the aid of a community development specialist state that their goal is to eradicate poverty while sharing God’s love and bringing people to Christ. Projects proposed are listed below:

The youth of Tulia are presently making bricks and building a chicken house. They plan to cooperatively raise chickens and sell eggs. They plant to begin with 100 chicks and expand to 1000 chickens. ($500 provided, $500 needed)
The youth are planning to start a fruit tree nursery where they will grow grafted orange, mango, pawpaw, etc. seedlings for sale. ($500 needed)
The youth are currently raising Eucalyptus tree seedling that will be sold and planted to produce lumber. They have 950 seedlings already growing. Some of the seedlings will be planted on the school land. ($50 provided, $100 needed)

a The youth have also started a mushroom raising project. They have already purchased 150 bags of media and added the mushroom spores. Some varieties will be grown for food while other varieties are grown for medicine. They propose building a greenhouse to use in the project. ($1000 needed)
The adults want start 250 Jatropha tree seedlings that individual farmers will raise. At 18 months of age the tree beginning to produce seeds that continue oil that is extracted for bio-diesel. The trees will continue to produce for 50 years. At nearby Thika the Japanese are building a processing plant that will use the Jatropha seeds to produce bio-diesel. ($500 needed)
The adults want to produce Aloe Vera plants that will then be used for medical purposes. ($250 needed)
World Vision has donated two male goats from a milking goat breed that will be used to upgrade the milking ability of native goats. The farmers would like to identify 10 progressive farmers to each receive a registered female milking goat to speed up the process of improving the goat milking ability. ($250 needed)
The people at Masaani must transport their grain a long distance for it be ground into flour. They want purchase a grain milling machine and form a local milling cooperative. ($2666 needed)
Several training workshops would help the adults in the community… Survival Gardening/Drip Irrigation, Food Harvesting and Preservation, and Sewing/Tailoring. ($500/workshop for supplies provided to participants)

Investments in community development projects are a way of helping people help themselves. If you would be interested in helping fund any of these projects let us know.

 
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