Water tanks changing lives for Kenyan women and their families

The Nkando- Kamuketha area in Meru, Kenya, is a semi-arid area, whose residents have for
decades had to bear with water-scarcity, unpredictable rainfall, and low-rainfall patterns. These
factors have greatly contributed to the food scarcity in the area and the drought affecting
livestock too.

Through the support from Farmers Helping Farmers, the usual narrative is taking a huge twist for
the better. Through the organization’s water tank initiative, 182 women from this area have
benefitted with 5000-litre water storage tanks that will aid them in harvesting and storing rain-

Among the beneficiaries of this project is 43-year-old, Eunice Nguta. Eunice lives with her 50-
year-old husband and their 4 children aged; 22 (Female),18(Female),16( Female) and 14(Male).
The 18-year-old is studying at a Technical Institute, while the 16-year-old is in High School, and
the 14-year-old in Primary School. Eunice and her husband are not formally employed, neither
do they have a business. They rely on casual jobs and through the sale of their farm and livestock

They own a 1-acre farm where they grow maize and beans. To add more produce in their food
basket, Eunice and her husband have also leased another 2 1/2 acres. They also have a kitchen garden and livestock that includes goats, rabbits, cows and chicken.

The tank has positively impacted Eunice’s life in a great way.

“For a long time, I had wished to have a bigger water tank to store water. The water that connects to our home, is frequently rationed and at times, we go up to two weeks without flowing water," she says.

Eunice had a 200-litre water tank that could not hold as much water for use during rationing.

"It was a challenge finding water for the livestock and for use at home. In such instances, we had to buy
water from neighbors who had stored enough in their tanks. It was hectic, especially watering the
livestock," she adds.

When Eunice received her water tank, she could barely believe how soon the tank had arrived.

“From the moment I picked my tank, I could not wait to store water and start a vegetable nursery, which I had tried and failed severally due to water scarcity. After the tank was installed, I immediately filled it with water from the community water project and started my nursery. I had absolutely no worry about lack of a water storage tank nor the usual rationing," she happily continues.

Her children were also excited that even with water rationing, they could comfortably do the house chores and clean their uniforms, without having to walk long distances carrying jerry cans of water borrowed from their neighbors’ homes.

In her garden, Eunice has grown Kales, Sweet Potatoes, Tobacco, Cow peas, and the African Nightshade. Once ready, her family will have plenty of leafy vegetables and make nutritious meals.

“At the moment and for a few weeks onwards, we will be busy with farm activities as the rains have started. I am relieved that even when I get home late, I will easily get some vegetables from my garden and easily prepare meals for my family without the burden of outsourcing.”

Eunice’s husband is also happy that with the huge capacity water tank, he will save on the water bills.

“Now that we have a tank, we can be relieved of the monthly water bills. We are optimistic that with the onset of rains, we will harvest much water that will serve us for quite a long period. Before the rains subside and we result back to purchasing, we will have saved quite a fortune!” he joyfully adds.

Eunice is also happy that her neighbors will also benefit from the tank.

“This tank will not only be of help to my family and I, but also to my neighbors who I will share water with, especially during the dry season. I cannot thank Farmers Helping Farmers and their friends for helping me transform a key aspect of my life."

"Asante sana Farmers Helping Farmers and Kelvin Grove Women’s Institute P.E.I!”

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