Rotary Club help fund construction of 27 water pans in Kajuki, Kenya

Date published: 04 December 2017

Rotary Club of Middleton member, Peter Hayward, has helped reduced the chance of drought in Kajuki, Kenya after only two days of rain in the area.

He took the lead in fundraising in Britain to raise money that would be used to implement an irrigation water project over 10 years ago, and 27 water pans, which are already half full of irrigation rain water to be channelled into the villages crops, have been constructed.

Before construction started in 2008, the Kajuki area experienced frequent rain failure that resulted in severe drought, famine and acute food shortage. This situation contributed to high poverty levels, chronic hunger, extreme food shortage and high school drop out, as children had to search for water.

With Kajuki being directly under the equator, rain is only expected twice a year and with no tarmac roads it meant that even when it did rain, mud overwhelmed the area and the plants did not grow as well as expected.

The rain water that has recently been collected in the ‘man made ponds’ will be filtered and supplied to local farmers who previously would have experienced this drought.

The pans also help citizens of Kajuki who previously would have travelled miles for water that was saturated with mud and arsenic from domestic waste and run-offs from agricultural activities and therefore unfit to use. It meant that only deep-rooted plants survived the ongoing hot months.

The water pans are five metre squares by two metres deep, allowing up to 50,000 litres of rain to be channelled into them. This means that when the rain stops, crops will no longer die and they can use the filtered rain water to maintain a green environment - an aim of the project.

The committee also provides the seeds, whilst giving their free labour to Kajuki community to help plant the seeds. To date they have helped over 600 farmers grow much needed food.

Middleton Rotary Club raised up to £50,000 for the initial project. They aimed to construct up to 600 water pans in Kenya but had to drop the number to 100.

Mr Hayward has recently contacted the British government to ask for funds of up to £1 million. The government rejected this and he is currently appealing against the decision.

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