Kenya

When Margaret Nakapwan saw clean water flowing from taps provided by Tearfund, she could hardly believe her eyes.

‘We were so happy and couldn’t stop thanking God for the great miracle that he had done for us,’ said Margaret, who lives in Nyagaita, Kenya. As headmistress of the local primary school, she had double cause for celebration. For years she had been frustrated that the education of the children was being disrupted by the need to get water.

Parents would often pull their children out of school and send them to fetch water which and gradually led to the school roll dropping from 60 to just 15.

Water is everything

‘I always knew that the greatest challenge that the students were facing was the lack of water,’ said Margaret. ‘Water is everything.’ Kenya’s drought made matters far worse: ‘All of a sudden the rivers dried up and there was no water anywhere.’ Margaret admits the drought pushed her faith to the limit and nearly led her to close the school for good.

Margaret Napakwan. Photo: Grace Kamuyu/Tearfund
Photo: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund
Photo: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund
Margaret Nakapwan: 'I knew the greatest challenge the students were facing was lack of water.' Photo: Grace Kamuyu/Tearfund. Water photos: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund

The arrival of Tearfund partner CRWRC and the start of work on a borehole was a massive fillip for the entire community. It meant residents would be better placed to cope if drought hit again. ‘You cannot believe the extent of my joy when I saw clean water flowing from the taps,’ says Margaret. 

Suddenly lives changed; children could now attend school and were less susceptible to illness.

‘All in all, I’m grateful to all who have contributed to the project. You have changed the lives of these children and given them a chance to be great men and women of this community.’

John Lokai, vice-chairman of the local water committee trained by CRWRC to manage the borehole, echoes her sentiments: ‘This water has greatly changed lives here. People here know and understand the value of this precious commodity, no one has been seen wasting water. I’m very grateful for the training that Tearfund working with CRWRC gave us to help us in owning and managing the project.'

A little history...

Tearfund works with nine Christian partner organisations in Kenya, ranging from a theological college to the Kenyan Evangelical Alliance, and an Anglican Diocese to the Christian Partnership on AIDS in Kenya. 

We are mobilising churches to meet the needs of their communities – with a particular focus on equipping churches to cope with HIV, maintain environmental sustainability and work for peace and reconciliation after conflict. 

Work to prepare communities for natural disasters is taking place through our partners living in disaster-prone areas, such as the semi-arid regions of northern Kenya, which faced a food crisis in 2009. Other projects aim to protect children at risk, improve literacy, numeracy and vocational training and create better access to clean water and sanitation. Advocacy work focuses on good governance and working towards peace and reconciliation.

As part of Tearfund’s ten-year vision, our work in Kenya aims to transform the lives of 300,000 people by inspiring 300 churches to reach their communities.

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