When we first met Ponja and the community in 2005, east Africa was suffering a drought. The streams, upon which the people of Irkeepusi depend, had dried up and the women and children were walking long distances and having to dig down to find water. This water was contaminated by their livestock and by wild animals, but they still had to drink it. Many of their cows, upon which they depended, died during this drought and the people were hungry. Lack of water and hunger is a regular part of their lives during the dry seasons each year.
As this was an urgent problem we met with Ponja and the village leaders and planned and built 4 wells. Ponja organised the construction with the labour provided by the local community and the installation supervised by local engineers. They were then able to pump their own clean water for the first time. In this project we were supported by Richard Cansdale and used his low cost, easy to maintain, Canzee pumps. Subsequent water projects have been the repair of a rainwater collection system at the local primary school and a survey for a system of gravity pipes for other areas of the village.
The NCAA (Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority) have now built the planned pipeline, providing clean water to the secondary school and the local dispensary.