By Godfrey Mawaa, WASH program manager in Kitui County, Kenya.
As I went about my daily duties at the Kamutei borehole, I noticed an elderly woman staring into the horizon. From what I saw, she was deeply rooted in thought. It looked to me like she was whispering a prayer. As I approached, the crunching of dried leaves against my feet alerted her of my response.
It was then that I noticed tears streaming down her face. I got extremely concerned. Before I could even utter a word, she reached for my hand and shook it with vigor.
“My son, may God richly bless you,” she said to me. “The work you are doing here is simply out of this world. You are surely a blessing from above. I was just thinking about the suffering we have faced in the past due to lack of water, it is nothing to smile about.”
It is then that I realized she was shedding tears of joy.
“Wild fruits have started growing,” she said. “This is a sign of a severe drought in the coming season.”
People here said they have been getting water from traditional scoop holes.
“We have had to share this stagnant water from surface water pools with domestic animals such as dogs,” said Kioko, a young man who lives here.
Five villages, which comprise over 3,000 households, depend on this single borehole. Considering that almost the entire population here lives below the poverty line on less than a dollar a day, the rehabilitation of the Kamutei borehole is such a relief for these people.
As I turned to make my way back, a group of women waiting in line to fetch the water asked me how the sun can lift water from such a deep borehole, 132 meters below. They were amazed by the fact that water is being pumped and it is coming out without the use of a generator. They went on to ask how this could be; how it runs all day without even using a single coin.
I took one look at them all and could tell they were eager to learn how the solar pump works. I decided to spare a few minutes of my time to educate these interesting people. As we sat, one woman broke into a song in praise of Samaritan’s Purse.
“God loves you, the people of Kitui, and that is why He has blessed you with this amazing gift,” I said. Then I asked them to pray for Samaritan’s Purse’s work all over the world so that we can continue to reach out to people in need.
I reminded them that there is great hope in the Lord. As long as we serve almighty God, better days are coming. Today is only the beginning!