First Water Well Project

January 2022

The project that we are focusing on now is to get a fresh water well drilled and functioning in Tanzania, Africa. For me, this started when I met my friend, Kennedy Odhiambo. As we got to know each other, I learned that he has a passion for helping others. His is from village called Chanika in Tanzania. He had an opportunity to work in the U.S. Out of his own pocket, he funded the digging of a well in his village. He also funded other humanitarian projects. Seeing the need for the betterment of his friends and family, he and some of his friends decided to start a Non-Government Organization, NGO, Tanzania Relief and Sustainable Development, TRSD. Their vision is to fund the starting of projects that will, over time, help the people in the local villages to have a way to have clean water, education and a way to improve themselves, their families and the community. The idea is to teach and help the community to create sustainable things that will last for generations. For example, the first well project we are working one will be largely funded by us, some folks in the U.S. then the local village people will be formed into well committees and trained how to maintain the well. Members will be trained to be technician specialists for the maintenance. The committee will meet regularly to make sure there is income generated from the water that will self-fund the cost of maintenance. TRSD will stay with them until they can function themselves. This pattern will be followed and adapted to all projects, well and others. For the first well project, some of us will be traveling to visit the site to document what will take place. Some video and pictures will be taken. We will use this media for the website and for promotion of future projects. The more people we get involved, the smaller each of our monetary contributions will need to be. $15,000 is our goal for the drilling, well pump, spare parts, piping, tower and a large storage tank, among other expenses. I’m trying to help in several ways and am going to Africa with some others April 14-28. You can help as you see fit. Some of us here in Washington State, USA have joined together and formed our own organization that will help Kennedy’s and others. It is Africa Relief and Sustainable Development Association, ARSDA. our website is aid4africa.com and is currently under construction. Each of us have pledged to generate a percentage of the funds to get this first well started. I have committed to $1,500 and am letting you know so you donate with me to be part of this process. No pressure. If you choose to be involved, just do what you can; make a donation to help me with my pledge or get involved with the process of our group and/or plan on coming to Tanzania with us in April! Or somewhere in-between.

12 February 2022

I got to travel to Arizona last weekend to visit some of my family. I shared about our well project and received great encouragement and support. My brother Doug, before his retirement, ran hydroelectric dams. He gave me some great advice on documenting and creating a history of the well project. Here are some of the notes I took:

13 February 2022

There is a mother in Chanika that has been struggling to support her children. Her home has been damaged by the flood waters in her village. She has worked to get blocks (bricks), one by one over time to improve her house. She is doing what she can. This was brought to the attention of the members of Aid 4 Africa and in addition to that, I have reached out to several individuals and posed the question, “What are your thoughts on helping with Momma Shikira’s house?” The united response was, “Yes, we should do something to help her!” Here are a few of the responses I received:

I feel like that woman is in a desperate situation. Would we be able to help her at the same time while you all are there for the well?

I think it’s a great thing to do. Given her household size, having a good home for her family is something I think would be a good support for her. She’s already been making efforts of her own to get it all arranged, so I’m sure with us helping out, it would speed up the process for her.

We love the idea!

I’m all for it, but I don’t know what precisely we’d do to help. Just funds?

 

Of course, I would love to. But I haven’t heard the details of when or what or how much it would cost, to be able to see if we will have enough money. I don’t think we should blindly commit to something we may not be able to do.

I’m fin with that, but in the long run I believe we need to try to stay focused on the bigger problems, like making sure a community has fresh water. By helping at the community level, we may help free up resources within the community to help this woman themselves.

What an amazing, compassionate group of people I get to be associated with! I think there is wisdom in not just jumping in and doing all for someone in need. We could be taking away valuable, life building experiences from them. But, maybe, just maybe we could help in some small way and encourage the community to continue to come together to assist. I just feel like we can do something. But don’t think we should do everything. She has been consistently doing what she can, which is very impressive to me. I’m looking forward to the discussion we will have and the resulting decisions that will be made.

16 February 2022

Last night at the ARSDA meeting, Momma Shakira was discussed! Out of this being brought up, we learned more about what is needed from NGO’s applying for grants from us. I’m glad that there are others that have more aptitude for things like this. Kennedy is going to put together a written proposal, or grant application from TRSD, for Momma Shakira project. I’ve been thinking about ways families in Africa to generate income. When I was in Arizona visiting my family, my brother Steve had a bunch of loofas from his garden. He gave me 3 of them to take home. They had seeds in them and this got me thinking: I think loofas would grow well and may b one way to generate income for some folks in Africa. I’m going to talk with Kennedy about it. Also, I have a friend that is from Iran who lives her and does business in Iran. I’m going to ask his advice about international business. Who knows, maybe something will come of it!

19 February 2022

More ideas keep coming to my brain: crop rotation, chicken mote, rain catchment, cisterns, solar power, passive solar…I want to help. I also want to be respectful to how things are currently done, not pushing my ideas on anyone. I figure that these can be topics of conversation as things come up, just ideas. I’m sure these things have been thought of before and there are reasons why they work or why it isn’t feasible. Anyway, it feels good to have ideas come to me.

 

29 March 2022

The survey for the well site is complete! It is estimated to be deeper than we thought, but, still within budget.

Here are some of the members of the TRSD team looking over some of the surveyors tools and findings. 

Right: Kennedy’s brother, Emanuel, helping with supplies for the well tank tower. 

 

 

 

Right: Materials being delivered to the site for the construction of the tower to put the holding tank on top for storage of water from the well. This will create some water flow or pressure to distribute water to faucets. 

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