By Jared Oundo,
The Maasai community in Loita, bordering Kenya and Tanzania has always experienced a major challenge as water continues to become scarce due to climate change and inconsistent weather patterns. Residents have to walk for over ten kilometers to fetch water from a spring that is depended by over 100 families. Here taking a shower is unheard of with women and children suffering most as clean drinking water are rare to find.
The pastoral community has to share water from one source with their domestic animals a matter that has compromised health in the semi-arid region. According to the village elder of Marti village in Loita, Joel Ole Sunguya, women have to trek for 9 kilometers to fetch a 20 liter jerican of water. The village elder narrated that taking a bath is a challenge as scarcity of water has increased over the years. Ole Sunguya noted that their cattle and goats have to be driven for over ten kilometers to find water. He has since called on the government to assist the communities in having dams and borehole dug.
Vivian Nalidinayo narrated that fetching water has caused conflicts in families as men demand to know the whereabouts of their wives. Naldinayo expressed that they have to trek for several kilometers before lining up to fetch water from the stream. She said filling each jerican is time consuming each taking about 20 minutes.
The mother of three narrated that men have become superstitious beating them up for getting home late after suspecting them of having affairs. She further noted that villagers have been suffering from diseases as the water is contaminated as it is shared with cattle and goats. However there is still hope that water will soon be available after Quipbank Trust limited in partnership with Narok County government has started construction of 300 dams in the next one year. The company plans to construct 50 dams in the next two months.
According to the commercial director at Quip Bank, John Mogire the 300 million projects has been motivated by the challenges that the community is currently facing. He said the area is also lucrative in agriculture and they are planning to introduce crop farming in the region. Locals have since welcomed the move to construct the dams as it will assist the families get the scarce commodity.