Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kisaru Maasa Community Projects

Simple sustainable development projects being adopted in the Mara Triangle by the Kisaru Maasai Community Project. This article also highlights alludes to the role played by the globalisation and its impact on culture.

Mara Triangle - Kisaru Maasai Community Project
Kisaru Projects

1. Toilets for Everyone

Kisaru has constructed long-drop toilets for five villages: Enkutoto, Enkereri, Ilkinya, Hard Rock and Olosinon. The goal is to construct toilets for another forty bomas.

We are currently accepting donations for the construction of four toilets: materials and labour cost 16,000 Kes per long-drop toilet. Tools for construction were donated by Linda.

2. Bio-Gas for Smoke Free Homes

This started as a project to build chimneys in traditional houses to vent the smoke from fires and the first chimney was constructed at Olosinon. The project then developed into the installation of the bio-gas at Enkereri with hopes for similar projects in other bomas.

It costs 700,000 Kes (approx. US $8,750) for a complete bio gas project, which includes the construction, the materials, piping, stoves and lights. The project not only reduces smoke inside the traditional houses but also reduces human wildlife conflict as woman no longer have to search for firewood and the project dramatically reduces the depletion of forest that surround the villages.

Background History

Until recent times the Maasai tribe were nomadic and hence the need for sanitation systems in the form of long-drop toilets were not necessary. Additionally Maasai cattle were always on the move and hence there was no build up of cow dung, like is now seen in the villages, that attract flies in large numbers. When the Kenyan government forcibly settled the Maasai into group ranches across Maasailand, effectively controlling their movement within administrative boundaries, the issue of sanitation was not considered.

The situation has now worsened as the Maasai have now been located on the same pieces of land for many years, and the health issues are now widespread. A recent health survey revealed high incidences of diarrhoea and typhoid in the villages, and that many of the villagers were suffering from chest and respiratory conditions and eye infections (some leading to blindness) as a result of smoke from the fires that constantly smolder in Maasai homes. These fires are used for cooking, for heating water, and as a deterrent at night against mosquitoes. Traditionally built Maasai houses have little ventilation and no chimneys, hence the smoke has no escape.

No comments: