What are you doing in my compound this early? This seemingly rude question was followed by a deep laughter and a warm hug that made me relax and feel welcomed.
We had just entered the compound of Mary, the Chairperson of the local school parents association. This particular school, in Vihiga County had received the gift of water filters about 6 months earlier and we were here to do a follow up. Both parents and the school had received water filters. Before this, the sponsor was giving out filters to schools only but this had to change since the children would drink safe water while at school but drink unsafe water back home thereby making the whole program not to have a meaningful impact.
We had a one week follow up program so as to visit every home of the water filter beneficiaries. Mary was expecting us on day 3 but we had changed the schedule and visited her home in day 2 of our program. Mary was leaving her home for a funeral. Actually she was just locking her door. In her hands were a padlock, a bag and a jug like bottle of water. Mary opened her door and ushered us in. After the pleasantries, we were ready to do what we had come for and within the shortest time possible so we could let her go to the funeral
Before we could start with the pre-set questionnaires, I asked Mary a one off question. I had made an observation of the jug like water bottle she had in her hand. So I asked her why she was carrying this with her to the funeral. Being an elite retiree, I expected Mary to have a bottle of mineral water in her bag.
Mary took a breath and in a testimony like tone, gave her answer. “Madam let me tell you something. One month after you gave me my water filter, I went visiting with my sister for a few hours and when I came back home, I had a terrible stomach upset for three days. About three weeks thereafter, I attended a conference in Kakamega town and when I came back I had the same stomach upset but this time for five days. After another two months I attended another conference again in Kakamega town and this time round, just on a hunch, I carried my own drinking water in my bag. Believe you me there was no stomach upset at all when I got back home. Yes! My body has come to recognize water from only my water filter as safe. And my glass water bottle has become a permanent companion whenever I am going”
Whoa! Need I use our preset questions? The gospel of clean and safe water at point of use is spreading; One place at a time, one person at a time.
— ARR—- Journal No.002
— ARR—- Journal No.002