There was no other water available to the village. Attempts to dig a well were futile. After reaching 95 feet deep in a 6 foot by 6 foot area, the well digger was hit by a stone that fell from the surface, and it took heroic efforts to extricate him from the dry hole. The women and girls walked for miles to get water, and were resented when they visited wells at neighboring villages.
When we visited the small church in Kichahi in October 2008, we found out about this desperate need for water. After asking God to show us a solution, we found abundant water near the road 1.7 km away. While negotiating to buy land at this place, we encountered some feigned friendship, but the land price tripled before we could close a deal to buy half an acre. After drilling a well down to 15 meters, outright hostility developed with the sellers demanding the land back.
The half-acre site at the crossroads now has a water tower next to the well, and two houses for families who will look after the pumping station. Water will be pumped to a tank on the tower so that it can flow down the 1.7 km to a sump at Kichahi. Dozens of volunteers participated to dig a trench for a buried pipe from the crossroads to Kichahi.
In May 2009, a Living Water Treatment System (LWTS) was installed at the Kichahi church. Water from the sump will be pumped into the LWTS to deliver a steady supply of chlorinated and filtered drinking water. Water from the sump will also be available for domestic purposes, and for farming for the families of Kichahi.
Service team members Mark, Lauren, Susanna and Ashley with the LWTS at Kichahi
The people of Kichahi with their new LWTS