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The Road to Parikati: A Water Project in Kenya

Jackson's Story

Recovery


Creating a water source in one of the driest places on earth

The Road to Parikati

Finding water|Challenging conditions|A tough journey

Maneuvering the rocky roads of Parikati by truck

When International Medical Corps sent Jackson Musomba to Parikati in Northern Kenya to build a safe water supply for a local school, he knew it would be a challenge.

Because of these dry conditions, finding a water source is difficult, which is why Jackson and his team were needed to install a rainwater-harvesting roof structure at the school.

A treacherous road

Because of these dry conditions, finding a water source is difficult, which is why Jackson and his team were needed to install a rainwater-harvesting roof structure at the school. Before they even began, Jackson had to spend days tracking down the only trader who he’d been told would be “mad” enough to transport the materials.

The trader told them he’d have to change his tyres and suspension when he returned from Parikati because of the impact of the journey. At the time, Jackson thought he was exaggerating to drive up the price. But since he was the only driver willing to go, he struck a deal and they set off with the materials.

The journey to Parikati gave them an opportunity to witness first-hand the power of storm water. A short intense storm the previous week had washed large boulders into the middle of their path. They crawled along for hours manually repairing the road while the driver torturously manoeuvred the vehicle behind them. Jackson said:

It was such an agonising task that the next day muscles ached that I did not even know I had on my body. The entire 10 mile trail runs over boulders and rubble that shook the SUV so much, making it impossible to travel over 3 miles/hour. At one point, some herdsmen overtook us driving their cattle.

After the long journey, Jackson and his team finally arrived at the school to a warm welcome from the school committee.

A warm welcome

A girl washing her hands in clean water

After discussing and agreeing on the roles and responsibilities of the community to build and maintain the water source, they were treated to tea and chapatti from a local makeshift restaurant. The construction could now begin.

Less than a week later, the installation had not only been completed, it had also rained on the previous day. The water tank was full and the pupils were very happy. “It is a blessing from God,” said an elder.

Jackson was uncertain whether he was referring to the rain or the project, or maybe it was both.

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