July 15, 2015
Our solar-powered water system in Masikita will get an upgrade this summer!
Masikita, Lene Maria for Rent Vann’s first project with Voss Foundation and implementing partner Milgis Trust in the Samburu region of Kenya, was completed in 2013. Milgis Trust retrofitted a pre-existing borehole drilled by the government with a solar pump that pipes water to 4 access points in Masikita: (1) a community stand-pipe, (2) the health center, (3) the primary school, and a (4) remote watering hole for livestock. Today, the system yields approximately 25,000 litres of water/day. The Bergum family visited the community for the first time when they attended the opening ceremony, and returned for a brief visit in August of 2014 when on the occasion of the opening ceremony of their second project for Milgis School and the community of Ilgwe Eldome.
According to Helen Douglas-Dufresne, Milgis Trust’s Founder, “when the Bergums visited last year, the community asked them to fix the old main tank, and to join it into our solar system, basically to have more storage for cloudy days. They asked if we could make some changes, like building up the walls of the round trough into a tank. They also requested a second trough and a new standpipe for the community on the east side to help reduce some pressure (and wear and tear) on the original infrastructure…”
The Bergums generously agreed to support the system upgrades. This summer, Milgis Trust will repair an old concrete water tank to increase storage capacity, install a new community standpipe and a new water trough for livestock and wildlife, and heighten the walls of the existing water trough. The new water access points will help reduce overuse and wear and tear on the existing points, and will also further reduce the amount of time both people and livestock have to wait to get water.
Lene Maria for Rent Vann (Norwegian for “Lene Maria for Clean Water”), is a global grassroots initiative to honor the memory of Lene Maria Bergum, who was killed in the shooting attack on Utøya, Norway in July 2011. Her family chose to build a water project in Sub-Saharan Africa with Voss Foundation in Lene Maria’s name. They felt this was the way she would want to be remembered. The Masikita rehabilitation and addition is Lene Maria for Rent Vann’s sixth project with Voss Foundation across Sub-Saharan Africa, and their fourth in Kenya. The campaign has funded 4 sanitation 9 water projects that provide water via 17 water access points to communities in Kenya, Liberia, and Uganda.
We at Voss Foundation continue to be humbled by the beautiful way in which the Bergum family chose to heal in the aftermath of tragedy, transforming a terrible event into projects that benefit many. We are honored to be a part of their efforts.
To read the complete project description and see the budget, click the report cover image.