Maji-Ya-Watoto: African Safari Adventures & Clean Water for Samburu
Over the years, our many African safari adventures have introduced us to the harsh realities that typify this continent.
The beauty and splendor of Africa’s wildlife and terrain never cease to amaze us, and those who travel with us, through Kenya and the surrounding areas. With the grandeur must come some adversity, however, as we discovered in the Samburu area near the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
Here, the native Samburu have struggled for decades without a clean, reliable water source.
The Plight of Samburu Area Residents The Samburu live a nomadic, tribal life, living off the land and their livestock in this remote area. Their access to water has become extremely limited, however.
The Samburu women and their children, tasked with securing water for their families, have had to walk sometimes more than 10 miles to fill their water containers from the Ewaso Ng’iro River. Contaminated with pollution and wildlife, this water is dangerous and virtually undrinkable.
In addition, the trek to the Ewaso Ng’iro is fraught with danger. In 2015, crocodiles killed two Samburu children attempting to collect water.
The crocodiles in this area can reach 21 feet in length and weigh up to 2,200 pounds.
The Quest to Bring Clean Water to the Samburu
When we became aware of the plight of the Samburu people, wanted to help.
As a result, Discovery Expeditions & Adventures established the Maji-Ya-Watoto Foundation. Maji-Ya-Watoto means “water for children” in the Samburu language, and that is exactly what we set out to provide.
Fortunately, through the foundation, we were able to raise enough money to undertake a well project for the Samburu.
Giving Back to the Country That Makes Our African Safari Adventures Possible
When we venture out through Kenya, we do so typically in search of the holy grail of African safari known as the Big Five: the elephant, leopard, black rhino, Cape buffalo and lion. In February of 2016, however, we set out to give back to the land that has given us so much.
We began drilling the Samburu well, and finally, in March, we hit water — 1,200 feet down! We installed piping and a reliable hand pump, finally bringing clean water to the Samburu.
Today, more 1,000 of the region’s people get their clean water from the Maji-Ya-Watoto well. Some travel as far as seven miles to reach the well, but the journey is a safe one that guarantees their containers will be full on the journey home.
Because the lines for water begin before dawn and often extend into the night, we have begun to raise money to drill a second well. This will allow even more of the region’s people access to clean water.
If you can contribute to this important initiative, please contact us. Every dollar we raise goes to the well project, with no administrative fees or costs.
At Discovery Expeditions, we are committed to making the lands we travel and enjoy a better place for those who dwell there. Won’t you join us in this worthy endeavor? We know from experience that helping the Samburu makes the journey that much better when we visit Kenya on African safari!