Home · Blog · Just Around the Corner Art Auction : Kileswa: Project Description


When the government drilled the borehole and built a compound, but to date the borehole has remained capped.  


Voss Foundation’s eighth project in collaboration with Milgis Trust in the Samburu region of Kenya will outfit the existing borehole in the community of Kileswa with a solar-powered pump. The system will pump water to five water access points: one standpipe next to the borehole, one standpipe in the community, one standpipe at the school, and two watering troughs for livestock and wildlife. The project will also include community-based training in proper maintenance and management.

The government drilled a borehole in Kileswa several years ago. Unfortunately, that borehole has yet to provide water to the community because a pump was never installed. We hope to change that with our project, which is set to begin later this summer.


VF_KEN_MilgisTrust_Kileshwa_borehole_03According to Helen Douglas-Dufrense, the Founder of Milgis Trust, our longest-standing partner, “the Kileswa borehole is located in an extremely dry area where water is a permanent problem. This borehole [would be]a godsend to the people here, but it’s no good if they cannot get the water out! The original plan was for the government to put in diesel pump, but it has not materialized. If it does materialize where will the fuel come from? This is an extremely remote place…

Of the project, Helen said “Putting in a solar system will absolutely be the perfect answer, and has the full blessing of the Northern Water Board. The borehole is a very successful borehole, very deep with plenty of water!

Another advantage is that, once completed, this water source will draw the people away from the mountains [where they go to collect stream runoff]so that the flora can recover from from being over-used, over-grazed. In turn, this will improve living conditions for the pastoral communities in the area.


The Kileswa borehole will be an important source of water not only for the community, but for wildlife as well, especially the Grevy’s Zebra. There are only about 2,000 Grevy’s Zebra left in the world, and one of the biggest threats to their survival is lack of water. Helen has blogged extensively about the Grevy’s zebra, and the challenge of finding water. Once functional, the wildlife watering hole will also draw the Grevy’s Zebra into Samburu Territory instead of Turkana Territory where they are reported to be hunted.

Kileswa is the third project funded by proceeds from Voss Foundation’s Just Around the Corner Art Auction held in Norway in 2011. To read the complete project description and see the budget, click the report cover image.

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