Walking Through Danger to Get Dirty Water

Attir Village, Kenya

One year ago we celebrated the graduation of Gambella Village, in Kenya, from Transformational Community Development (TCD). Over five years villagers worked hard to become sustainable in the five key areas--Education, Food, Income, Wellness, and Water.

During their process, they were attacked by neighboring villagers of Attir. GHNI leaders helped them to retaliate with love and now, several years later, Gambella villagers are helping Attir villagers navigate this same process.

Gambella villagers used to drink out of a dirty stream but have learned how to maintain their village well. They also dug a well and built a windmill to irrigate the valley between the two villages. They call the valley the “Valley of Peace,” and share the land for family garden plots to grow nutritious food.

GHNI staffer, Jeff Power, recently took a group of Americans to Attir Village. Read Jeff’s below account of the team’s journey to gather water with the women…

“Our team met with village leaders for over an hour in the morning. Then I declared that we wanted to walk with the women for their daily trip to the animal stream, through the bush, in the blazing sun. They were thrilled our team cared, and a small parade of villagers launched out into the bush, leading us.

“It was only after 30 minutes into the walk I learned what added danger to the daily trek -- the occasional lion, hyena or cobra.

“Are you kidding me!!?!!? I asked how often such an encounter occurred. Habiba, our National Leader in Kenya, laughed and said, ‘Only sometimes.’

“Fortunately for us, we didn't have to face a deadly animal on that walk. But when we reached our destination we were sickened by something just as deadly -- a stream of water that trickled through thick layers of animal dung.

“The women all gently moved the top layer of crud off the water, then dipped their scoops into the stream to put water into their 20-litre jerry cans to take back to their families. Some of the women would also put the scoop to their mouth to cool their thirst from the long hot walk. We were visibly shaken.

“That day we promised Attir we would help them immediately learn how to clean their water until we're able to also help them drill a well in the center of their village. And we will make good on that promise.”

Help people like those in Attir Village obtain access to clean, safe water for drinking, washing, and cooking today!