Yesterday we went to a large water and irrigation project that Excellent Development are managing, about 3 hours drive from where I am staying. The project is to build a trench from a natural spring on a hill down to two villages so that they can have a water supply. The trench needs to be over 5km long and the local communities are working together in self-help groups using shovels and pick axes to move the earth. The amount of physical labour is unbelievable. They have a digger for some parts of it but mostly it is down to brute strength, commitment and unity.
Everyone gets involved - children, parents and grandparents alike. I put my back into it and found the shovelling ok but using the pick axe required more skill than I had. When it got to near lunchtime all the communities congregated near to where they were constructing a flume that would be built on pillars to cross a river bed.
As the first pillar was raised there was a round of applause and then John from EDK got the local self help group leaders to each make a speech. Kenyans love speeches and I wasn't going to get away without having to say a few words. I think my speech went down well but then again the translator could have said anything!
It was a really positive day and it proved what can be done by the communities by working together with the guidance of EDK to tackle large problems. We finished our day with some well earned food and then headed back on the Mombassa road to Kola.
More updates and photos to follow very soon.