Today Peter, one of the local Kakuma men that took part in the water class showed us around his home, and where he and his community gets water from.
Thursday January 21 we were back “home” carrying out more electrical water exploration west of Kakuma 1, trying to bring a source of water closer to Kakuma 3 and 4. Meanwhile, the seismic crew was back in Kalobeyei carrying out surveys where we had already done the electrical work. The seismic defines the top of rock, and whether the rock is fractured or massive, and the electrical work identifies whether the pore spaces are filled with fresh water or saline water.
On Thursday we began to wind down, in a manner, with Erin Ernst staying back at Camp to push ahead with data processing and map making. We want to present at least our preliminary results to UNHCR, to the various NGOs involved in the water sector, to the village leader of Kalobeyei, and to the students before Paul leaves Kakuma on Monday January 25….especially as we have some great drilling targets!! We have also mapped some extensive areas that are saline everywhere along our lines, and at all depths, so we certainly do want to present these areas as ones to avoid. All of our information will be compiled in hard copy and digital reports, as well as be summarized in easy to understand maps overlain onto satellite photos.
Thursday, we bought a goat and had it slaughtered, and we gathered together in the evening at the WFP (World Food Program) compound with our IsraAID colleagues and other NGOs in the WASH sector to eat nyama choma (roasted goat) along with much missed fruit and avocado salads, and to celebrate what we hope is a job well done. While most of us are enjoying, or at least tolerating the food, a few of us, including of course our 1 vegetarian, would like a bit more variety from goat and ugali (maize flower and water). In fact, the assistant camera man Josie has become delirious, often seeing a soft, sweet, light, sponge cake in the pan when it is simply once again packed with dense, tasteless ugali.
Nevertheless, the evening was interesting, as often information is passed on over a few goat ribs and cold Tuskers that cannot be said in official recorded NGO minutes. For instance, it was both sad but satisfying to hear from several sources what we strongly suspected – that many, many more dry holes are drilled in Turkana than are ever reported, and the routine methods of water well siting do desperately need improving – along with reporting, archiving, monitoring, drilling, pump installation, and just about everything else water related. But it was absolutely tragic to hear from a Turkana working in the NGO sector what we had heard rumoured, but were not sure was true, that when water and grass become so scarce that the future of a livestock herd is hopeless, the Turkana men may shoot their animals, their family, and themselves.
Friday was hectic. Erin carried on with our processing. Randy and Franklin, along with the students, completed our last geophysical survey (an important saline control well of known depth). Of course by now, the IsraAID students are doing most of the work, and it would not be a surprise if this class exceeds the 60% employment rate of the last class. Doug and Colin packed and crated most of the equipment. Brendan and Josie filmed subject matter of people and water in Kakuma town, and Landon and Paul traveled though the Camp and back to Kalobeyei doing some water and soil testing on physical samples.
While testing a sand and water slurry in a scoop hole in the the main laga, Laga Tarach, we saw goats, women, and children drink out of the same scoop hole no bigger than a large spaghetti pot. And then a very articulate, English speaking Turkana man came over bemoaning how the water is unhealthy, full of bacteria, spreading disease from animal to person, and person to person. And then he took a bowl….and drank from the same scoop hole! Meanwhile, there is a hand pump perhaps 150 m distant, and a UNHCR supplied water tap in the town 300 m distant. It costs 10 Kenyan Shillings – about 10 cent US –to fill a 20 liter jerry can from the hand pump, and 5 cents from the Kakuma town water tap. For many Turkana, this is either more money than they have, or more money than they are willing to spend.
Blogging by Paul Bauman