According to estimates from the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, in 2015, 50% of Kenyans in rural areas had access to clean water, and only 14% reported access from a piped source. Being far from any major town or city, Angama Mara’s immediate neighbours often walk up to a few kilometers a day to fetch water.
The Angama Foundation is slowly tackling the challenge of access to water for the immediate community surrounding the lodge with a multifaceted approach.
Two dams have been built: one at Partakilat, which was a project co-funded by the Mara Conservancy, and the other at Lolgorian, a town about 20km from the lodge and significant hub for the immediate area.
More dams will be built at other sites including Saparingo Primary School, and another further south on the escarpment, near Mara Engai lodge. Plans to put in a borehole at the Oloololo Gate is also underway, which would provide access to water for the rangers of the Mara Conservancy, as well as visitors camping in the Mara Triangle.
Access, however, is only the beginning; sanitation is an essential next step for a healthy lifestyle and minimising the risk of waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera. With this in mind, all new construction projects (teachers’ accommodations, ablutions, classrooms, etc.) have rainwater catchment and storage.
At the nearest school, Partakilat, a former guest, 13-year-old Zoe Weill, raised enough money to put in LifeStraw Community filters as well as rain catchment tanks. Continued exploration for clean water solutions remains a priority for the Angama Foundation.