Gatuanyaga is a district of the municipality of Munyu. The area is very dry, but during the rainy season, many houses and plots of land are flooded over and over again.
The women of the catholic small christian community St. Mary in Gatuanyaga founded the association "St. Mary Drainage & Irrigation" with the aim to improve their water supply. Since 2004, they have met each week to dig trenches.
After many discussions we started our first project with the women of St. Mary: Together with the Ministry of Agriculture in Thika we developed an irrigation concept. We got support for the project from the Referat Weltkirche of the Archdiocese of Augsburg.
The women themselves dug out the trenches. For each meter dug they received a small compensation of 30 KSH. With this they were able to buy corn flour for ugali and did not have to go home hungry at the end of the day. On the control list were often only fingerprints instead of signatures.
A network of 6.5 km of trenches was created on 48 plots and the rainwater is channeled into retention basins, called dams. The flooding of houses and cultivated land is now prevented.
The inhabitants use the water for drinking, cooking, washing, for irrigation and for their animals. They no longer have to walk for miles to the river or to a water kiosk to get contaminated river water.
The project is a flagship project of poverty erasing in Munyu and the surrounding area. It was also an initial spark: everyone started to dig trenches and blow up stones to get a water dam. The stones can be carved and used or sold for building houses. In this way, more water dams can be financed.
The children needn`t walk long distances any more to get water from the river or from a water kiosk.
The families are able to grow corn, beans and vegetables even in the dry season.
By selling them, they can earn a small income.
The area has changed a lot. The half savannah with some sisal agaves and little shrubs and bushes is green now.
An area with tall trees has developed. Under the trees people keep animals and grow corn and vegetables.