March 29, 2012
In February 2012, representatives from Voss Foundation and donors from last year’s Just Around the Corner Art Auction in Norway visited our latest project site to view progress and gather updated information. Urra is located in the Samburu region of Northern Kenya, west of the Ndoto Mountains and north of our previous three projects, all completed in partnership with Milgis Trust. View photos from the trip here!
The well currently serves approximately 500 people, and the community additionally plays host to hundreds of nomads, especially during the dry season, when they travel up to 20 kilometers to reach this spot. As Helen Douglas-Dufresne, founder of Milgis Trust, remarked:
“Orra [sic.]is the safest gateway to the north of the [Ndoto mountains], and there will be many travellers [sic.]enjoying the fresh drinking water here…”
Students benefit from clean, convenient, centrally accessed water at the Urra School, which has two classrooms and a kitchen. And the wildlife that Milgis Trust works so hard to preserve also enjoy water–elephants come to wallow in mud near the water basin built for them.
The community at Urra is appreciative of all that has been accomplished so far. Local women, especially, on whom the burden of water collection mainly falls, were enthusiastic participants in collaboration with Voss Foundation and Milgis Trust. The picture below shows an elderly woman giving some remarks about the importance of water.
“In June 2010, we passed through Orra [sic.]on a safari, and the women came to our camp, and had a meeting with us… Their most important concern was water, and asked us if we can help… Since this day they have been [asking]us to help them in any possible way to improve the water situation… We have had several meetings in the area to discuss the situation…” – Helen Douglas-Dufresne, Founder, Milgis Trust
N.B. You may have noticed when we announced this project, we spelled it differently. In initial conversations about the project, Milgis Trust had spelled the community as “Orra.” However, they have recently informed us that the more proper transliteration from Samburu would be “Urra,” so we will spell it as such henceforth.
Visit our gallery to see more photos from the trip!