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Water Trip to Kenya Proves Fruitful
Shoeman Water Projects Unearth Water for School and Community
After more than 100,000 pairs of shoes, 24 hours in the air, and a 2 ½ hour unpaved car ride, the team was greeted with singing students. Before the drilling began everyone walked to the dried up river bed to dig in the sand until water was reached. This happens twice a day. Once the drilling began the team had to drill more than 500 feet, and through granite, to reach the water table. It took over three days and numerous collapses before yielding an abundant water source.
Once the water flowed it needed to go through 24-hour water flow testing. It was a sight to behold for those who have never seen water flow from a well. Having never experienced a shower or running water, they were running their bodies under the water wanting to experience this luxury. A local farmer received much of the test water runoff and was so pleased to irrigate the plants and provide water for the animals. Once the well completed the test, this community of approximately 2,000 people, 200 of whom are children, had enough water for domestic and irrigation use.
“It has been a life long dream to have water in my community and the school I once attended. I know first hand how hard life is without water and it makes me so happy to see plans for the future,” said Joy Mueni, the Kenya Liaison for Shoeman Water Projects.
Now, the women and children no longer take the twice daily two-mile round trip water walk to the river. They have so much fresh water a 10,000 gallon water tower is being constructed by funds raised by the community, and a secondary school with a dormitory for children in grades 9 and up is being planned by the government. This water source is life-changing for a country with 17 million who lack access to safe water, 67% of the population has no sanitation services, and 50% of the population live in poverty.
“This is my 14th trip to Kenya and each time we make the water run and see the sheer joy on the faces of the people we serve, it makes the hard travel and setbacks worth it. Water is such a life-changing resource in this region. Now that they have that source, they plan to not only add a water tower, but the government will develop a secondary school with dormitories and indoor running water for approximately 2,000 homes,” said George Hutchings.
Over 7.80 million people lack access to clean water, which is equivalent to 2 ½ times the United States population according to water.org. And, until all the people in the world have access to something as basic as water, Shoeman Water Projects will continue to collect shoes, monetary donation and drill wells. The next upcoming trip is January 2014 to Haiti for 10 days, which is almost a year since the last SWP visit. They will deliver a well-drilling rig and install water purification systems.
Visit the Shoeman Water Projects website to learn more about the organization at www.shoemanwater.org.
To schedule an interview with George “The Shoeman” Hutchings, please call 636-751-8197.
About Shoeman Water Projects
One pair of donated shoes serves two! One pair of shoes provides affordable shoes and clean, fresh water. Shoeman Water Projects is a project of Eagle Wings Ministries, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, working to alleviate as much human suffering as possible. Shoeman Water Projects picks up donated used and new shoes from businesses, churches, schools, special events and shoe drives. Once collected, the Shoeman exports the shoes to street vendors in South America, Haiti, Kenya and other places where people need affordable shoes. Shoe resale builds the local developing economy with retail businesses and affordable shoes. The money the Shoeman receives from exporting the shoes is used to purchase well drilling rigs, water purification systems, and other supplies to bring clean, fresh water to those who thirst. Additionally, groups and organizations planning mission trips have the opportunity to purchase a water purification system and receive training on water purification, health and hygiene that they can pass along to the people they serve.
Shoeman Water Projects