Construction of 10 Rainwater Tanks for the Borana Community

Project location: KENYA, Sololo
Project start date: December 2010 - Project end date: February 2011
Project number: 2010-43
Beneficiary: Mondeco Onlus

The entire District of Sololo and particularly the town of Sololo has no water distribution system. The main way to collect and conserve water is done through artificial dams (silanghe) placed at the bottom of the hills the water flows down during the rainy seasons of April/May and October/November. The water collected this way is scarcely sufficient for family and animal use. Livestock is the main economical resource for the families and the sustenance is sufficient only when rainfall are abundant.
This kind of water supply is subject to high evaporation due to the climate and is exposed to contamination by pathogenic elements of various types. There are a few private tanks belonging to families with better economical resources.
Another more hygienic source of water supply are the boreholes, but output is not sufficient due to poor maintenance, technical problems, lack of fuel, and it is not enough to the needs of the whole population which uses dam water anyway, even though they pay for borehole water.
The project supported meets the need to increase the quantity of available clean water making the most of seasonal rainfall and store it in safe water tanks. The beneficiaries of the project are first of all the 320 orphans and vulnerable children assisted by the "Obbitu Orphan and Vulnerable Children (O.V.C) Village".

Project's realization and integration in the local system
The Project is integrated with the activities of C.I.PA.D. - (Culture Information Pastoralist Development - Community Based Organization) di Sololo (Kenya), related to the project Obbitu Orphan and Vulnerable Children (O.V.C) Village and sustained by Mondeco Onlus of Muggiò (Italy).
The Project "Realization of 10 rainwater tanks for the Borana community of Sololo - Kenya" started in December 2010 and was concluded in 2011.
Compared to the original project, the economical conditions and the context made it possible to increase the number of rainwater tanks with the same product quality and the same total expenditure. This increase became fundamentally important with the onset of the drought emergency that is presently striking the whole area of the Horn of Africa.
In December 2010 and January 2011, fourteen 5000 litre tanks and one 8000 litre tank were purchased and positioned so that a total of fifteen tanks have been placed on their cement basements near the compounds of Obbitu O.V.C Village project to exploit rain water collection from the roofs of the buildings.

Site

Number

Capacity in l

Total capacity in l

Children's Compound A

3

5000

15000

Children's Compound B

3

5000

15000

Village Fathers' Compound

3

5000

15000

Nursery - Playground

4

5000

20000

Store

1

5000

5000

Entrance - Watchmen's House

1

8000

8000

Total

15

 

78000

 

Each tank is already connected or about to be connected to the gutters of the compounds' roofs or to the nearest tanks through overflow pipes optimizing the method of water collection as much as possible.
The realization of the basements, the tank placements and necessary connections and all related works have been performed by local masoners and local transporters under supervision of C.I.PA.D. and the Italian volunteer, Dr. Pino Bollini.

The first positive outputs of the financed Project
The beneficiaries of the financed Project are in primis the 20 orphan and vulnerable children residents of Obbitu (O.V.C) Village together with the 300 children living with their 110 enlarged families or tutors in Sololo District.
Furthermore, the water is distributed to those families living in extreme poor conditions, each family includes approximately 8 - 10 persons, therefore increasing the number of beneficiaries to those persons in need who have no access to the borehole water.
The direct and indirect beneficiaries of the Project are approximately 2700 persons out of an estimated total population of 20000 persons in Sololo District.
Obbitu (O.V.C) Village now has a water storage capacity of 125000 litres of drinkable water a significant increase over the previous 47000 litre storage capacity and is at present the biggest reserve in Sololo District. The District Water Engineer estimated the previous water storage capacity in Sololo as about 90000 litres available in the villages.
At present, due to the harsh drought, the tanks are filled from water trucks with a capacity of 16000 litres. The boreholes of Sololo have a very scarce output, therefore the water needs to be collected from Walda borehole at a distance of 30 km where the water output is abundant to meet the needs.
Water supply is sustained by private donations and fundraising in Italy by the associations supporting the Obbitu (O.V.C) Village.
By the end of the drought, which is expected by mid April, the installed tanks of the Project will be used for rain water collection and to assure sufficient clean water to meet the needs of 20 orphan and vulnerable children residents of Obbitu (O.V.C) Village:
- to supply clean water to at least 110 families where 300 orphan and vulnerable children are living
- to have sufficient clean water storage available for the highest number of beneficiaries, considering future droughts.

Operations relating to the drought emergency and complementary to the Project
During October and November 2010, the seasonal rain fall failed and the hydrological resources of the dams and shallow wells were not restored.
In February 2011, the traditional waterholes were completely dry and people started to dig in the mud, collecting small quantities of water from the bottom of the dam and to rely on the few borehole water. The immediate consequences were a significant increase in diseases relating to the consumption of unsanitary water. Many persons became physically weak due to lack of water and food, the livestock that is a source of sustenance died or was already sold off.
The sanitary personal of C.I.PA.D. increased food distribution and mobile clinic activities to handle the most urgent necessities.
Furthermore, the old 20 litre water containers (jerry cans) that the families use for carrying water from the dams and shallow wells were therefore contaminated and have been replaced by new 20 litre and 100 litre jerry cans. Each family assisted by Obbitu O.V.C Village received enough disinfecting materials for one month to prevent the pathologies as mentioned above.
The presence of C.I.P.A.D. on the territory, the support of Mondeco Onlus and the volunteers for fundraising, the possibility of storing a large quantity of clean water supported by this project made it possible to take immediate action against the lethal effects of the severe drought for the most vulnerable persons in the area. The operation was put into place immediately and is waiting for further intervention by institutional and international supporters. The necessities of the local population are higher than what could be offered up to now.
The interventions performed up to now are emergencies and hardly sustainable in the long term, therefore, if the expected April rainfalls fail, the situation of Sololo will worsen significantly and the possibilities put into place until now will no longer be available.
Anyway, C.I.PA.D. and Mondeco Onlus will provide proof of the future reality of Sololo to institutional and international organizations, to Kenyan and Italian private well wishers and will continue water distribution as best they can, within their own logistical and economical capacities.


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