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March 8, 2016 | Posted in Humanitarian intervention, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Kenya | By

To pour a glass of water is something that many of us take for granted, we just go to the tap and fill it up. For many girls and women in Kenya an everyday thing like having access to water can be associated with extreme danger. This used to be true for Joyce Kennedy, 19, from Kenya.

This is Joyce Kenedy, 19 years old, from Tharaka, Nithi County, Kenya. Ten years ago almost nothing could grew in this area, and people were completely dependent on the rainy season. Lack of rain resulted in crops destroyed which lead to famine. To fetch water for her family Joyce used to walk several kilometers every day, which often meant dangerous walks in the evenings where she risked being vulnerable to sexual violence.

– Often when I went to fetch water men shouted after me and called me names. It made me scared and I didn’t feel safe. Constantly being exposed to this was very stressful, says Joyce.

A few years ago IAS built a water irrigation system in Tharaka where water is taken from a nearby river and distributed to 130 local farmers so that they can grow vegetables and fruits. The purpose of this was so the farmers would become self-sufficient and not dependent on rainy seasons. For Joyce and her family, it  means that they receive water directly to their house from a water pipe.

– Now when we get water directly into the garden we are able to grow food to sell at the market. I also no longer need to be exposed to the risks that came with these walks, says Joyce.

IAS in Kenya

IAS has been working in Kenya since 1994 and currently has  five projects in the country. The focus is implementing education, water, hygiene and sanitation, peace-prevention measures and relief aid in different parts of the country. This project was funded by the Swedish Mission Council l, Erikshjälpen, Linas Matkasse and Mockfjärds Fönster.

Text and photo: Rebecka Woods

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