In Search of Water in Samburu, Kenya [Video]

Catch up with the Trekking the Planet team as they interview leaders in the Samburu community about the difference clean water can make in this very dry part of the world. You will learn how the Samburu live, how they divide responsibilities and some of the challenges they face. You will also hear traditional Samburu music.

Pulse el botón de reproducción y después el botón CC anterior para seleccionar los subtítulos en español. Spanish Translation by: Cristina Luz García Gutiérrez (

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0:11 During our time in Kenya, we traveled to the center of the country to the Samburu
0:15 region. If there’s one thing this area lacks, its
0:19 water. So, we made it our goal to understand the
0:22 difference water can make by visiting several villages that had received a well from The
0:26 Samburu Project. With the help of Lucas, the Program Manager
0:33 for The Samburu Project, we had a rare opportunity to be introduced to members of the Samburu
0:38 community so that they could tell their story. The Samburu people are pastoralist, meaning
0:44 that they tend herds of cows, goats, and even camels.
0:47 They traditionally live in a manyatta, which is the Swahili word for “settlement”.
0:53 The Samburu area receives peak rainfall during early-April to late-May (the long rains) and
0:59 mid-October to mid-December (the short rains). Dry conditions usually prevail outside of
1:04 these times. During our time in Samburu, we visited five
1:10 wells. At the third well, we had the opportunity
1:12 to interview one of the women leaders in the community. Her name is Noolgesen.
1:15 “So, what other changes has she seen since the well was built?”
1:22 “The first change that I saw since we had this well is that the community,
1:32 myself included, was healthy.” “Before we use to take contaminated water,
1:38 but this well water is very clean. As a result, we don’t have a problem with disease right
1:43 now.” “We women are able to be at home with our
1:46 children and the small kids have time for school.”
1:49 “While this nursery school is under a tree, with the help of others, we hope to have a
1:53 permanent structure in the future.” We are very happy because the water
2:01 that we are using is very clean. From here, we moved on to the next
2:04 well. This one had been built just a year ago.
2:07 By chance, we met Michael, the son of the village elder.
2:12 Even though the well, was a recent addition, we heard much the same story.
2:17 Before the well, there was a lot of time spent in search of water.
2:20 We specially asked about school enrollment. We were told that before the well was built,
2:25 there were 30 children enrolled. Now there are 86!
2:32 On the following day, we decided to walk a portion of the route that one of the women
2:35 from the Lamuaoi Village follows to get water. Mary leaves her manyatta at 7am and doesn’t
2:41 return ‘til 2pm. She does this every other day.
2:46 Her village has applied for a well, but their application is on the waiting list, with many
2:51 others, because of funding. We also had a chance to speak to the Chief
2:59 of the Lamuaoi village about the challenges of his people.
3:03 … 3,000 households? Wow. So, that’s way more people than that.
3:08 Yes. When we were talking earlier, you
3:10 mentioned some of the cows that would normally be here are not here, and the men are not
3:15 here. They are far away. Why is that? Because, now, with the problem of
3:17 water, the animals have no water, they should have to take it where they can get water.
3:19 How far is that away? Almost 100 kilometers away from here
3:26 because it is on the side of Maralal. And, two years ago, there was a severe
3:33 drought in this area. And, what happened as a result?
3:34 In fact, the livestock were wiped away by the drought. The only bank they have
3:40 is these animals, the cows, the goats and the camels. That is their bank. When the drought
3:46 comes, it wiped it away. And, there’s nothing remaining.
3:50 So, you are still feeling the effects of that drought two years ago?
4:00 Yes. We are still. We are still. To date, The Samburu Project has
4:18 drilled over 40 wells, providing clean, safe drinking water for 40,000 people.
4:24 If you would like to learn more about the Samburu people and the Project that is doing
4:28 so much to meet their needs, you can do so at their website.
4:35 Thanks!

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