Jun 29, 2011

Mbara progress report / Resoconto da Mbara

NOTA DI LUCA: Terry John Hummerston e' un mio vecchio amico che da diversi anni lavora insieme alla comunita' di Mbara, nel Kenya occidentale. Terry ed i suoi amici stanno facendo cose meravigliose laggiu', con pochissimi mezzi e moltissima buona volonta'. Nel 2010 abbiamo contribuito alle iniziative dello Mbara Community Project con una piccola donazione (300 Euro) che spero possa essere rinnovata nel 2011.
Terry mi ha spedito qualche giorno fa un aggiornamento sulle attivita' di Mbara, vale la pena di leggerlo.

NOTE FROM LUCA. Terry John is a friend of mine who has been doing wonderful things working with the local community at Mbara, in western Kenya. We contributed to the Mbara Community Project with a small donation in 2010 (€300) and I really hope we will be able to contribute more in 2011. Terry just sent me a report that makes a good read.

Greetings All.

We are most certainly well in the midst of transforming Temow Primary School. The staff room is coming together very nicely and should be complete by months end. All classrooms and students are considerably drier and cleaner during rains now that the veranda canopy is in place. Construction of 3 toilet blocks are also underway and soon the single 6x5 metre pre-school building, catering for 90+ students, will double in size and allow for 2 separate classrooms.

Also this month we should start to see signs that water is finally on its way to the school. A 2000 litre holding tank is already on site and another of 6000 litres is on its way.
Since the last report a vast amount of renovation and maintenance work has been done to the 3 pipelines running from Mt Mtelo. Unfortunately much of the community were away on vacation during this period and I was therefore privileged to do most of the work myself.
Mr John Ywalasiwa was employed for his technical expertise and put in a sterling performance renovating the flood damaged South branch intake.
One of my principal objectives was to install a number of indestructible 'slide' taps at problematic collection points. And to date, they are working MAGNIFICENTLY, with a desirable amount of leakage allowed for the creation of watering hole's for livestock.
Lamentably, after considerable time and effort, some of the South branch pipeline is already redundant. Since returning from the beaches of Mombasa, and ignoring multiple requests to clearly mark a path over the pipeline, the community got busy digging, sowing seed and breaking pipes. Anyhow, all is not lost, as the new 'slide' taps are MAGNIFICENT. And over on the killer steep North branch, where finally I did get some cooperation, we carried out major pipeline repairs and maintenance work. In fact I was so pleased in what was accomplished that another half kilometre of pipes will be purchased in response to a requested extension
Mungat pipeline MARK 2 has been functioning without a hitch since its instalment last year. A fourth and final collection point has at last just been introduced and me and an old man have topped up furrows now that there's been some rainfall...
But, rains have again been scarce this year. Add to that a lack of seed in the country and late planting, local predictions for the coming year is hunger for many. That said, the Eastern Horn of Africa is already experiencing one of the driest years since 1995, according to 'Fewsnet', the famine early warning systems network. Also the Kenyan government has reluctantly declared the drought and food crisis in the country a national disaster.

Back at the expanding Temow primary school, we are in need of at least 40 new desks. Anyone wishing to help fund their construction PLEASE get in touch and I'll give you bank details for where to send the donation. At around £7 each they're a real bargain, and I'll even throw in photos of desks personally inscribed with the donors name at no extra cost.

And finally... Near the end of last year a young impoverished mother of 6 children, Mama Gelessa, was made disable with a broken spine when the gold 'pit' mine she was working in collapsed (Mining usually brings in a dollar or 2 a day). Whilst visiting at her rather remote and high home some months ago we discovered she had developed the most horrendous bed sores / pressure ulcers on hips and lower back. Since getting her on medication and putting in place measures to aid healing the wounds have healed miraculously, although we are rather mystified by the disappearance of necrotic tissue (Thoughts please nurses. Images available). To add to this Mama Gelessa is just one of her husbands two wife's and he is often away at the other home, which is the reason she had to go for mining in the first place. And it would not surprise me if he soon disappeared all together. Some neighbours are helpful at the moment and the local priest has recently been very fortunate in getting her a wheel chair. Also we hope to move her down to a more suitable location and there is to be a big fund raising event this month although it has been said that much of the money will go towards unpaid hospital bills. Anyhow, we are looking for a permanent sponsor(s) for Mama Gelessa and her children. Any takers??? PLEASE get in touch for more info.

Cheers, Terry John

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