Story and Photos by Jacqueline Mwende
The Enairebuk airstrip was built in 2017 out of a partnership between MAF Kenya and the RedTribe to bring help, hope and healing to the Maasai community.
MAF provides transport to the RedTribe Organisation and their partners to access Enairebuk within minutes by air, saving them many hours of road travel on bad terrain.
“It is through the MAF aircrafts that our donors, partners and visitors get to access Enairebuk from Kenya’s capital within 30 minutes as opposed to eight hours of road travel,” said Pelua.
The RedTribe is running various projects among them education, clinic, water, relief food, beadwork, and farming and are also supporting about 12,000 members of the Maasai community.
Three successful waterpoints are now functional thanks to the RedTribe who are using the gravity fed water system to tap clean water from the hills and bring it closer to the people.
Before the project was up and running, the community relied on rivers as the main source of water. Women walked more than 8 kilometres one-way to fetch water from the rivers and carry it on their backs for their household use and make a second trip to fetch water for their animals, who could not walk long distances due to their weakened bones caused by the drought situation in the country.
The rivers are contaminated posing a high health risk upon consumption. Many cases of water-borne diseases were on the rise and the locals went to seek medical care from the RedTribe clinic.
John, the Clinical Officer at the RedTribe clinic explains the outcome of consuming contaminated water.
“We treat cases of diarrhoea that arise from consumption of contaminated water from the river, which is the main source of water where the livestock too quench their thirst. Many families don’t boil the water before drinking it,” said John.
“Water in our three waterpoints, come from the top of the mountain and reaches the water points through gravity with no interference from animals; and it was tested before we started tapping it confirming that it is safe for human consumption,” said Pelua.
“Samples of water from the river and the hills were collected by doctors from England for testing and the results showed that the river water was contaminated and was getting people sick while the water from the hills was safe for human consumption.”
“Data collected at the clinic showed that majority of the community members suffered stomach upsets and diarrhoea but now the numbers have really reduced, and the people are healthy," Pelua added.
“The results informed the decision of tapping water from the hills through the gravity fed water system to bring it closer to the community.”
The RedTribe aims to construct more waterpoints with the support of partners like MAF to bring change to the community.