24 Aug The Meru Project
The journey from Thika to Maua is a 6hrs drive. Murara community was the first site which was 20 km from Maua, Naathu High School the second site 10km and Kilera 14km respectively. Their livelihood is soley dependent on miraa harvest which is commonly known as ‘kageta’ which goes for 500-700 shillings in the market of Mutwate. A boy sold Miraa and got 3000 shillings that day which he used for his personal needs.
From where the drilling was taking place the villagers walks 8kms to fetch water and 8kms back to their farms on which they mainly grow maize, beans and miraa
The community is a male dominated. They do have a council of elders called Njuri-njeke whose roles are solving family disputes and land issues. The team faced a lot of challenges in the site, like an incident where the land owner was so close to cutting one of the drillers with a panga for clearing part of the miraa farm. Thank God for fast intervention of the village men who calmed hi, down. A dog was brutally killed with a panga romour had it that the dog was seen chasing after a chicken in the village. A man’s hand’s is chopped off because of stealing miraa from his neighbor’s no legal action is taken, they see it as a win-win situation.
From where the team set their camp, about 10m there was a man selling alcohol and on the roads were broken bottles where children passed by bare footed.
There were no cuttings coming of during the drilling. 25 jericans of foam (500 liters) were use. But thankfully on the test pumping the borehole yielded 8 meters cubic per hour with less than 2M draw down.
There were only two churches. The climate there is dry because the farms are in the border of Meru and Isiolo counties. The community was concerned that they started asking whether the MP or the governor gave them the borehole the team was drilling.
A man who used to buy water in wholesale would retail one mtungi for 30 shillings but during the harvesting and selling of miraa, the same mtungi would retail for 150 shillings.
Failed boreholes in the past had caused the community to loose faith. Thank God for successful boreholes. The villagers were elated and all wanted boreholes in their homesteads.
Alcohol drinking is in high rate in the community. Most parents don’t take their children’s Education seriously. And the children also opt to sell miraa than to go to school.