Fantastic news, out of the blue.
Since writing in February, I just heard from our amazing volunteers that they’ve almost managed to raise all the funds needed to put the XPRIZE-winning adiabatic water unit into Nkiito. The main adiabatic unit is available now from Island Sky and we’re now collecting quotes and negotiating discounts to install the solar-powered unit into the community. Creating 75 gallons of water a day is not only miraculous, but the noise of the unit will keep wildlife away from the community & create an income too. They can trade time for money, helping neighbouring communities in times of need. While the ambient noise may take some getting used to, giving back the hours and hours of time spent, in danger, collecting water from rivers or Lake Amboseli, it is worthwhile.
For visitors arriving via AirBnB it will also be a relief. While the maasai have evolved to cope with only a single cup of water a day, in hard times, it’s much more difficult for volunteers and westerners to cope with this regime. It was a short trip, in January 2019, by volunteers Tina & Dominic, that sparked the fundraising project! They really struggled with the lack of water. Experiences like that, while unintentional, serve well. AVIF operates within the reality of its volunteers’ experiences. Essential exposure to different lives that provide much-needed perspective in our unbalanced world.
The sad fact is that the maasai live in almost pure symbiosis with Nature, almost zero footprint, but are now, like many others, struggling to cope with the effects of climate change, of the reduced snowfall on Kilimanjaro and the even scarcer rainfall, meaning scarcer water flow. Coupled with deforestation, when it does rain in this semi-arid part of the Great Rift Valley, the rains are so torrential that it floods and run’s off intensely, removing the nutrient-rich top soil. Plans are underway to regreen via pastoral techniques but it takes time. Meanwhile, everyone needs water every day. One of the young boys was killed by a lone bull elephant earlier this year, when they crossed paths on one of the many long treks to Lake Amboseli, the only source of water at the time. Maasai & other tribal communities here are entirely dependent on the survival of their herds, and they are losing cattle to thirst.
Every penny counts, to bring fresh water to a community who can teach us so much about living with Nature.
If you can help with continued fundraising for the solar panels and delivery, please make a donation via the big purple button on the website. As always, every penny goes to this project. AVIF has zero costs.