‘Milgis’ projects gaining momentum.. First WATER!

1) Water Harvesting projects…

a) Thanks to our friends in Portugal!! Every year our scouts report many wildlife deaths because of lack of water.. In the lower Milgis several Grevy Zebra died trying to get to water this year… It is absolutely paramount that we deal with this problem, and not ignore it….. Its not an easy one, but we are trying our best…If we don’t do any thing at all we will continue to see wildlife disappearing off the face of the earth…. We only get about 3 or 4 months of the year when it rains, thousands/millions of gallons of water, rush off the Ndotos, and Matthews ranges, and disappear into the desert…The best we can do is harvest this water!! We have a very exciting new addition to the Milgis team…

This !! Dam machine 002.jpg

nov 10 014.jpg loading the machine onto the lorry for transportation to Northern Kenya…

We have spent the last two months teaching a Samburu man to drive it… they don’t grow on trees!.. But Lesukat from Maralal is ready to go and the team have just left for the East side of the Ndotos.. Hopefully we will have some results to show you soon!

Thank you to Gemka (center), leso's pics 111-2.jpg from B.P.S.for having the patience!, to teach Lesurkat, and lolbirdai to operate the machine!

b) Thanks to INTERNATIONAL ELEPHANT FOUNDATION… As you all know last year was one of the worst droughts to hit Kenya… Death was rife.. It was a terrible time.. Amongst many other Wild animals, including Grevy Zebras, we lost about 20 young Elephants due to not being able to get to water in the deep wells… Our scouts tried their best but we could not keep up with the demand.. All pics fr Lesoloyia Nov 09 133.jpg

All pics fr Lesoloyia Nov 09 205.jpg

To avoid the possibility of the same problem this year, we wrote a proposal to IEF asking for funds.. We were now covered and ready to employ enough people to make Eley friendly wells, but as you know the rains came, and up to September this year the Elephants have not had any problems with water!!… ( I hear today all the luggas are flooding, finally some more rain up north!, it has been abit slow)

In stead, because the Elephants are trying to make the break to get to Mt Nyiru, but there is big problem.. no water enroute, and the pans that they used to drink from have not been kept up… What I mean by this is Elephants keep their own water holes open, by bathing, in them, and throwing mud around.. So each time they visit them they help keep them open, but as I mentioned in my blog in 22/6/10 the Elephant have not been there for decades due to poaching.. So recently we have opened up two pan dams by hand, one on the north side of the Ndotos, and one south west.. Basically on the route to Nyiru!

IEF dam project 007.jpg Old pan dam site, that was not holding water any more..

digging the pan outIEF dam project 011.jpg ..

leso's pics 060.jpg

Finished pan Dam.. next picture will be full of water, we hope!, with an Elephant in it..

2) Clean Drinking WATER, Thanks to the VOSS foundation, to the Center of Ol Donyo Nasipa..

swari water launch 017.jpg The elders blessing the well at Sware in feb. 2010 in the traditional way with milk..

In Febuary 2010 we had a fabulous safari from the Milgis to Sware, with some very enthusiastic Norwegians, and at the end we handed over to the people of Sware, a little center about 5 kms south of the Seiya Lugga, a special gift ….WATER, yes water!! Thats all, but they were extremely happy.. It was a beautiful opening with a lovely show of ‘thanks’ at the school, Clinic, and at the main outlet… All the Women ‘dressed up to the nines’, to celebrate this special occasion…. It was especially satisfying for me as 20 years ago I lived there, and they asked me several times to try to organise water to this little village… Finally they got it in Febuary 2010… Now when somebody has malaria, he does not need to walk 5 kms to get a cup of water to swallow his pills!!.. And Sware is booming!

swari water launch 026.jpg The children sang beautiful songs about water, and the eldest girl recited this poem..



swari water launch 070.jpg Some of the Norwegian women, who came for the opening.. It is very important for people on both sides, the giving (above)and the receiving (below) to meet, and exchange there feelings!!

swari water launch 056.jpg

The women of Sware sang as usual with so much energy, and were very emotional.. and wholesomely thankfully..

On the way to Sware, two things hit us hard.. First we came across the children from Ol Donyo Nasipa school, down in the Lugga collecting water.. No harm really, but except they had walked 4 kms, of good school time, plus they had to carry 5 liters of water back up the hill 4 kms, some of the children very small, and then get on with school… We followed the children back up to the school, and some of the Norwegian women, tried to carry the water and found its quite heavy actually! Also several things could have happened in the night to the well.. … like a flood could have passed in the night, or Elephants could have ruined the well, like here! a well destroyed by Elephants....jpg so no water for the children at all.. or even worse a flood comes through when they are still in the well…

Then later on when we were sitting having breakfast on the bank of the Lugga we saw a woman carrying a 20 liter gerry can up the hill… For those that have tried to carry 20 liters, how far did you get!! Its heavy… Very!!.. Her Donkey had died in the drought and this was her only option… This tweaked the Womens consciences!.. So at the beginning of next year the little center of Ol Donyo Nasipa will have clean drinking water, for the school, and center, and we hope the government will then put a clinic in!!

The tank and pipes….loading the lorry-1.jpg being loaded, on to the lorry..

Digging the well..
five people down well-1.JPG
Putting the casing into the well, so that the sides do not fall in..
putting the casing down well-1.JPG

You can not do a conservation project with out the local people that live in the area.. So all these projects keep us ‘ALL on the same ship’! Also a percentage of funds from all these projects goes to the core operations… Thank you all!.. NEXT blog.. More projects.. Women Scouts, M.E.A.K.,milgis cheetahs football team, and Milgis Trust with all its success needs a vehicle!!..

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One Comment

  1. Pirjo
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    Helen, such great and concrete projects, which should really get people donating funds to keep the projects going. You are such a determined and courageous person.Great to see that fellow Scandinavians have been supporting your work!

    Hope it soon rains properly and the dam fills up, so that wildlife has a good place where to drink.

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