As reported in my last update, safe water is now flowing from the new well in Yimbo. Since then, our local village water committee has secured the well and is successfully managing access to help assure the water is used according to the plan developed before drilling commenced. So all is "going well," so to speak!
Also from the last update, we still plan to drill a second well in the neighboring village of Angwenyo after completing another hydrological survey there. So we're not done with water projects yet, and we could still use your help. We estimate that surveying, drilling, and securing the second site will cost somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000.
While getting the water flowing was our most satisfying achievement in the past year, we did accomplished other things. Adding textbooks, maps, and magazine subscriptions to the Muguna Primary School library FOY built in 2009 has helped student achievement in measurable ways. The drama and debate teams, for example, received accloades for their performances in regional competitions. We also completed wiring the school and supported US educators to give three professional development workshops to the local teachers.
On another front, FOY helped support volunteers who distributed 450 health related kits and conducted health care workshops during summer 2012. Related to this, FOY provided tuition support for a local high school student to enroll in one of the top 10 schools in Kenya. His goal is to graduate from medical school and return home to practice.
As you may have guessed, this health care effort is high on the priority list of the Yimbo community. So the next big project we plan to tackle is to build a community health clinic. We plan to begin researching the feasibility of this project this year, so my next report should have some more details. We've built a school library and drilled a well in the past three years. With your help, we believe we can build and stock a health clinic in the not-too-distant future as well.
So with all that in mind, the Friend of Yimbo and the Yimbo community thank you all for your interest and support in the work we're doing. We hope you continue to follow our progress and help us along when you can. On behalf of all of us, I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2013.
It's been a great summer for the Friends of Yimbo. After a difficult winter, things have really turned around. Why? Because, as promised, water is now flowing in Muguna village in Yimbo! Thanks to the help of many, and the incredible generosity of one particular Friend of ours, the first of two planned bore holes was successfully drilled in late June. The hydrological survey I reported in May was accurate, and potable water was found. Samples have been tested at labs in Kenya and the US, and the results show the water is perfectly suitable for domestic use. A manual pump and meter have been installed, and the community has begun using it. Our local water committee will monitor the fee structure and usage rate. They're also going to build a fence and water kiosk at the site, and we'll share the cost with them.
It's not easy to convey here the magnitude of what has happened in June, but it brought tears of joy to everyone there. For the first time, thanks to the Friends of Yimbo and the commitment of the local community, Muguna Village has a viable source of safe water in its midst.
As mentioned in my May report, we plan to drill a second well in the neighboring village of Angwenyo after completing another hydrological survey there. So we're not done yet, and we could still use your help. We estimate that surveying, drilling, and securing the second site will cost somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000.
The Friends of Yimbo are on a roll. We're successfully following through on our commitments, and we have no plan to stop. Please help keep us moving forward helping. Our friends in Yimbo sure do appreciate it. We hope this report convinces you that your donation will be used well. As always, thanks for being a Friend of Yimbo.
All the best!
We have good news! My last update mentioned the need for a hydrological survey to determine the feasibility of drilling a borehole to meet the water consumption needs of the Yimbo community. Just last week our contractor, Water Masters (K) Ltd., submitted their report on developing a new borehole, and it contains good news.
In a nutshell, the report states that a borehole sunk into an underground aquifer in the immediate area will produce enough good quality water to meet the community's consumption needs. Of course the report recommends that samples be tested for physical, chemical, and bacteriological analysis before the water is used for human consumption, but it foresees no critical problems. The report also says that this new borehole will not affect any others because it's far enough away from them.
The next step is to get drilling. That's the most expensive part, and we're still working hard to make it happen. The Friends of Yimbo's Southern California March fundraiser was a success. We raised over $4,000, but that's not nearly enough to complete this project. Water Masters estimates that drilling the new borehole, together with all the ancillary drilling requirements, will cost 1,587,000 Kenya shillings. That's a big number. It translates to about $18,400 at the current exchange rate, which is still a big number. And it doesn't include the cost of a pump and filtration system, which may add another $5,000 or so. We also plan to drill a second borehole sometime in 2013 so that the two Yimbo communities currently working together, Muguna and Angwenyo, can take full advantage of this opportunity. That's why our project goal is to raise $40,000.
So we still need your help to bring this project to fruition. As always, the Yimbo community remains committed. They're still pledging their time and money to help make it all happen. Please help them make their effort (and their shillings!) go farther.
All the best!
We’re sorry for the delay in updating you all on the status of our water project. As it turns out, the second half of 2011 was a challenging learning experience for our young organization. Most importantly, our Board learned the importance of exercising proper due diligence over those we hire on our behalf. In short, we had to reclaim our 501(c)3 status, which was temporarily suspended because of negligence on the part of the agency we retained to address these matters. I’m happy to report that our tax exempt status was restored completely and without penalty in January.
We also learned how difficult it can be to deliver safe water to a community. Our initial plan to build a 3 km. pipeline had to be abandoned because of irreconcilable problems encountered with local communities living along the pipeline’s proposed right-of-way. Our on-site water committee, whose members are chosen by the Yimbo community, agreed that the most prudent alternative is to drill bore holes and establish wells much closer to the communities we serve. To this end, we’ve established a partnership with Living Water International because the community wants to work with this group. Living Water is currently organizing a hydrological survey, which will show us the best places to drill. They work with a Nairobi firm that conducts the actual survey and obtains the necessary drilling permits. Once this is done, we estimate it would take only 5 or 6 days to drill with another 2 to 3 days required to install proper filtration. In addition to the drilling and well construction, we will also provide basic health and sanitation training as it applies to using the new water supply. Finally, we plan to also build a solar unit to power the well pump if electricity is not available or unreliable.
As before, the Yimbo community is committed to completing this project. To this end, each community member has pledged to contribute either cash or labor time or both to help achieve their goal. We will continue to help by holding another fundraiser in March with friends in Southern California.
We’ve had a difficult few months, but the commitment of our Board and all our friends is intact, and we plan to move forward. We certainly hope that winter 2012 will soon turn into a vibrant and productive spring and summer for the people of Yimbo. Any help you can provide them is very much appreciated.
All the best from the people of Yimbo!
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