The goal of Water is Life Kenya is to reduce systems of poverty in communities in and around Amboseli National Park. For this to be possible, water must be available and accessible to every family. Once water is available, men and women must have the confidence and skills to pursue a variety of livelihood options to improve their well-being.
Water is Life Kenya uses two main strategies to reduce poverty in and around Amboseli National Park. First, we work with communities to initiate water projects that will sustainably provide for domestic and livestock usage. Secondly, we invest in groups of men and women by accelerating their business skills and providing capital to initiate cattle cooperatives. Earning income regularly means living a bit easier and having money to send home to areas where ladies carry water from shallow wells scratched out of the seasonal river beds.
Our prospering handicrafts business allows us to employ hardworking people including Mary and Rahel, who hope for a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Water is Life Kenya is particularly skilled at initiating water projects in the Amboseli area. Our knowledge of the terrain and hydro-geological formations improve the likelihood of success for the water projects. Our relationships with the community ensure projects will be maintained for years to come. It is our small implementation area and longevity that allow us to effectively pursue our goals.
Our main indicator is to see an increase the number of people who can access water within one mile compared to the previous challenge of women walking 2-4 hours one way daily to contaminated water sources for their family.
We have several indicators for success of our Livestock as a Business Program. Profit from the sales of the cattle they purchase with their micro-loans is one, taking the knowledge they learned and seeing them apply it to their other cattle is another way. For example, they were trained on harvesting grass and storing it in sheds for the dry season. This past rainy season, several different women and men are starting to implement this way of running their business.
As of 2018, Water is Life Kenya has completed 18 projects in 15 villages, impacting over 50,000 people and their animals. The average time traveled to water has decreased from 4 miles to less than 1 mile. Our Livestock as a Business program has touched over 300 households and improved the income and business skills of each group member.