Due to the availability of water, agricultural initiatives for this Pastoralist community are now possible for the first time. Small gardens, tended with the water of TSP wells, offer food security, dietary diversity and income generation. In 2017, The Samburu Project collaborated with Give A Child Life Kenya (GACLK) to pilot a program introducing door-step gardens in 25 TSP well communities. Despite some initial struggles with weak seedlings, the program thrived and many gardeners were eating their own vegetables only three weeks after the initial plantings. A few of these gardeners were so inspired by they decided to turn their personal gardens into a business. Jacinta Lekolii, one such woman, made enough money form the sale of her crops to open a shop where she now sells vegetables along with tea, sugar, an other household goods
With the advent of a well near the Sere Olipi Primary School, the entire community is thriving. Through a partnership with the World Food Program, The Samburu Project well was turned into a water access point. A system of piping now feeds water directly to the school, in addition to a health clinic, and a community water kiosk. Children at this school participate in two kitchen gardens, enjoy clean latrines, and campus hand-washing stations. The health clinic sees an average of 50 patients a day and delivers 10 babies a month.
MILIMANI WELL & FARM
With a reliable source of water, many of our well communities have begun to launch gardening initiatives as well. One of the most successful of these initiatives is the Milimani Farm in Samburu East's Wamba Division. In 2010, with funding from the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation, we expanded upon our support of the Milimani Farm by installing a submersible pump and generator to complete a drip irrigation system. This agricultural project has increased collective community income by $100,000 through the sale of excess produce in time and at local markets. Dietary diversity of the local community residents has also increased significantly due to the introduction of fruits and vegetables in a community where typically only animal byproducts, maize and suger-laden tea are consumed. The Milimani Farm serves as a model to other water well communities for maximizing the benefits of their wells to improve the long-term livelihood and health of their members.
While working in Kenya in 2016, former Army Reserve Lt. Col. Jason Souza and his colleague Chris Taylor were astounded by the number of children walking barefoot over hot, rocky, fields to simply get to school. Inspired by this need, they returned home determined to find a solution. With help from their friends and community, they returned later that year with over 600 pairs of shoes. Today, the EOD Vets Partnership works with Mama Washira’s Children’s Home, an orphanage in Archer’s Post. Their first project was to purchase chickens and goats to put the school on the right path to sustainable food sources. Since then, TSP and the EOD Vets Partnership have collaborated to construct a new dormitory that will provide shelter and beds for 65 children. Most recently, The Samburu Project coordinated a book drive with The Center for Early Education in West Hollywood to benefit the orphanage.
Click here for more information on the EOD Vets Partnership