The Diocese of Marsabit has been led by Bishop Daniel Qampicha since 2016. He leads a diocese that is the size of England, with a population half that of Essex, and that is amongst the poorest in Kenya. He was able to visit our Diocese in 2017, and spend time in a number of parishes.
He writes: “Water is essential for life, health and human dignity. In extreme situations, there may not be sufficient water available to meet basic needs, and in these cases supplying a survival level of safe drinking water is of critical importance. In most cases, the main health problems are caused by poor hygiene due to insufficient water and by the consumption of contaminated water. Over the last five years, pastoralist’s communities have faced water deficiencies, attributed mainly to below normal rainfall. This has forced households to walk for between 30km and 40km in search of water for domestic use as well as for livestock.
Emergency water trucking to drought affected populations, in Northern Kenya, has become an important intervention as rainfall patterns in these areas have become increasingly unpredictable. It is expensive and is the only coping mechanism in times of water scarcity, and inflation in the price of water.
Emergency water trucking in drought is typically a short term, life saving intervention that is used to cover interruptions in water service or access to sufficient quantities of water to meet survival requirements. Emergency water trucking often plays a crucial role as a coping mechanism in the daily lives of a large percentage of the population and has become an almost yearly humanitarian intervention in the arid areas of Northern Kenya.
Water trucking should be a last resort option for emergency provision of water in drought. All potential activities should be analysed in relation to the seasonal calendar to determine the appropriate beginning and end times of common emergency interventions such as water trucking. In order to meet the above needs, the diocese will need a water bowser to be used in such emergencies.
Availability of the truck will improve sustainable access to sufficient quantity of water for drinking, cooking, personal and domestic hygiene. The water will be sold at an affordable rate so that a contingency is built for future emergencies.”