Karibu! Welcome!

Since 2004, EWB@ MSU's professional and student volunteers have worked with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to provide water and sanitation infrastructure at the district's 58 primary schools, making it easier for Khwisero's children to avoid waterborne disease and get an education.

In that time, the group has grown from a small club to one of MSU's premier student organizations, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund seven borehole wells, six composting latrines and a biogas latrine that serve thousands of community members.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to work hand-in-hand with local partners to make a difference in one small part of our world. As Western Kenya's limited internet access allows, we will update this blog while in-country with the successes, stories and lessons provided by our work.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Drilling Begins at Emwaniro Primary School

On Friday the drillers finished flushing and capping the borehole at Ikomero Primary School after reaching a final depth of 91.5 meters. They have transferred all their equipment and are now drilling at Emwaniro Primary. After the drilling is complete at all three schools, we will install handpumps and train the community and management committees on maintenance and management of the wells.

The Surveyor training went very well. We trained 28 teachers, school aids, and community members from around the 5 schools to conduct the water use and sanitation survey, and finalized the survey. We printed 900 copies of it on Friday. The actual surveying is scheduled to begin on Wednesday. Francis, Maurice, Jackson, Jaime, and I spent most of last week preparing for and conducting the training.

Jordan and Laura have been compiling a list of design projects for the fall and researching sand filter designs.

On Thursday, we met with the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board in Kakamega to begin the process of setting up managerial and technical repair training for the 5 water management committees and maintenance personnel at the schools.

Team 3 arrived on Friday and is preparing to take over as Team 2 leaves on Monday. Team 3 (Katie, Aubrie, JJ, and Rebecca) will be concentrating on training facilitators for the focus groups, writing a history of Khwisero, facilitating water and sanitation education programs at the schools with materials from Project Wet, and continuing to work with the schools and water management committees to ensure that the well handovers go smoothly, among a lot of other things.

Today we are celebrating Katy Hansen's 21st birthday and a job well done by all the members of Team 2. There is a rumor that a goat and several pineapples will be involved. And if Jordan and I can make it back from Kakamega to Khwisero (a 1.5hr matatu ride) without the ice cream melting, there will be some of that too.

Check back soon for more details as things progress.

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