Olepolos is located in Amboseli National Park, near the Tanzanian border. It is a densely populated area; home to almost 2,500 Kenyans. In the past, these villagers had to cross the border into Tanzania every day and wait in line at the Kamwanga well. This cost the women eight hours every day, and nearly three quarters of the villagers complained of being sick from drinking dirty water. The villagers knew they needed a better source, and we committed ourselves to help them. After discussing with community leaders, the consensus was to drill a borehole well near the two local pre-schools.
In the fall of 2012, after the locals had contributed some fundraising, we drilled a borehole 600 feet deep. Due to the great depth, a pump and a generator are required. Following the success of the drill, a large cement holding tank and cattle trough were built capable of holding around 100,000 liters! Bathrooms were also constructed, to aid in the prevention of waterborne illness. It was quite a big project for WILK, but the benefits have been outstanding: the time spent gathering water has been dropped from eight hours to less than one, and as a result of the steady water supply both schools have grown larger to allow students to continue their education. The local pastor told us that livestock are healthier than ever, and that people have started moving to Olepolos for the water security. The villagers even wrote a song, thanking us for bringing them clean water!
Lydia from Olepolos says, “Since we have the Olepolos borehole, we have more time to work on our farms and even have extra time to get paid to work on our neighbor’s farms”. Three small shops have been started around the borehole, making it an economic engine for the community.