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!