February 15, 2017
A new Lene Maria for Rent Vann project is underway in Masikita Simiti. Masikita Simiti is a small center about 8km up the lugga from Masikita, the site of the first their project with Voss Foundation and implementing partner Milgis Trust in the Samburu region of Kenya. For Masikita Simiti, Milgis Trust will re-dig an exisiting well and outfit it with a solar-powered water pump networked to three access points: (1) a community stand-pipe, (2) the primary school, and (3) a remote watering hole for livestock.
According to Helen Douglas-Dufresne, Milgis Trust’s Founder, “Masikita Simiti is located in a very dry area, on the edge of the Elbarta plains where water is incredibly difficult to come by… Approx. 860-1000 people live there year-round. It’s a stable population; even during the worst moments of tribal conflict, they are the only community that never left! During the dry season when there is no more grazing for livestock in other areas, people travel [to Masikita Simiti] from far and wide. Up to 3000 or more people can depend on the water here… This area is also extremely important to the Grevy Zebra, a very rare Zebra – only 2000-3000 remain in the world. Water is one of the challenges to their survival, so a trough for wildlife will be an important part of the project! All the people living near Lesirikan come to this area for the livestock to eat salt, and will also enjoy the water here!”
Lene Maria for Rent Vann, Norwegian for “clean water,” is a global grassroots initiative to honor the memory of Lene Maria Bergum, who was killed in the shooting attack on Utoya, 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 Simiti project is Lene Maria for Rent Vann’s eighth project with Voss Foundation across Sub-Saharan Africa, and their fifth in Kenya. To date the campaign has funded 4 sanitation facilities and 23 water access points, and infrastructure in 11 communities in Kenya and Liberia.
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.