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drilling2On returning home following filming in Kenya I was determined to fund raise for a bore hole with the help of my wife Heather. This simple project could be a life changer for the community.

The initial aim was to fund raise for the project and pass on monies raised to an established charity that was happy to implement this build. Phone calls were made to many charities including Water aid, Oxfam but the reply was always the same. The area was far too remote. At this point the only course of action was to form our own Charity and continue to research how we could implement a bore hole. The programme was to go out in the spring and if viewers felt moved to donate there had to be a means to do so. “Aid for Samburu” was therefore formed.  The trustees /committee of local people are a diverse group of farmers and professionals all keen to be involved. The programme was due to be shown in March and it was a tight timetable to get the paperwork completed. The application to the Inland Revenue had to be fast tracked. It was a matter of days between the programme’s screening and establishing a website complete with donate buttons which enabled us to be ready for business.

CHITTLEHAMPTON YOUNG FARMERS CCLUB  They raised £1000 with their Clay Shoot

The response following the programme was amazing and donations flooded in not only from the UK but Canada, America, Europe and even Australia. I gave talks to clubs and Young Farmers who fund raised in a variety of ways. The committee also had a big following locally with events such as Quizes, Ferret Racing, Dinner/Dances and Clay Pigeon Shooting.

In the course of this fund raising, work was also underway on establishing the means to put this project in place. For a while we followed advice to look at putting in a reservoir. This eventually did not appear to be the way forward but the experience did lead us to a further lead in the form of the Milgis Trust. They live and work in this North Eastern area and have an understanding of the Samburu. Most importantly they have implemented successful water projects. They also understand the dynamics between wildlife and the community which is critical in a project’s success. We were delighted that they were prepared to work with us on this bore hole project. They completely fulfilled the holistic approach the Trustees were looking for. They not only could implement it but are providing full support for its lifetime and will be on site for breakdowns.

Once this relationship was established the MT carried out an initial survey and asked the village what they would want. They were unanimous in wanting a solar driven bore hole so a Water Committee was formed. This consisted of women, elders and a school teacher. A plan was formed and Andre of the Indigenous Collective found the proposed site for the bore hole.

The plan was as follows:

Phase 1

To drill the borehole, install solar pump which will deliver water to header tanks that are 720 metres above the borehole. From here water will be fed by gravity 3.3kms to supply the entire surrounding community and livestock. Wildlife by night

Phase 2

Pipe 3.7kms of water to the village school and for domestic usage

Phase 3

Pipe 4.3kms of water to wider community and livestock and wildlife by night

The Water Project will serve approximately 1600 people and their livestock.

This has been an expensive project as it is far more than just a borehole and transport to a remote region is a big factor. As we reached the last leg of the fund raising the charity “Meal a Day” generously supported us with funds. To complete the final sum required “Bray Capital” very generously donated to us and we were then in a position to start work.

Lengthy delays occurred before the drilling rig finally arrived on site on the 26th October 2015. The drilling was a successful one and the source of water has yielded 8 to 10 times more than the project requirements. Furthermore the quality is good. It had always been a worry that the water could be salty.

The drilling was completed shortly before a rainy season and the village has had to wait until March 2016 before the next phase of work was started. At least we were assured that while they waited they were not short of water!!

It is now hoped to have the project completed by June 2016 when Richard and Heather plan to visit the project. It is then that there will be an opening ceremony to celebrate this milestone.

We are extremely grateful for Bray Capitals continued support. When we visit the community in June we will be looking for further ways to support the area with sustainable projects. Bray Capital are keen for involvement in this and supporting the projects we find. We look forward to revealing the details of these following our visit.  The fund raising continues!