Prior to the well’s construction, residents were forced to walk miles each day through rugged terrain to retrieve and carry water home to their families. Each day, four five-gallon buckets had to be filled and saddled on the backs of donkeys to take back to the village. In the dry season, when the river was at its lowest point, the only way to get enough water was to dig a deep hole in the riverbed and wait as the water—in all its scarcity—slowly drained in. This greweling daily task caused a major toll on the Thwake residents’ health, safety and quality of life.
Pastor Nzioka, the Kenyan government, and the Thwake villagers all agreed that the next step for the sustainability of the Thwake Health Clinic—and for the general well-being of the Thwake villagers—had to be a water well.
Again Pastor Nzioka went to work, garnering resources and skills from both sides of the globe that could assist in securing a clean water source for the village. Several churches from the Heartland Presbytery responded to his call by collecting money from their congregations for a fresh water well, including gathering loose change from school-aged children who wanted to donate in their own capacity. Just as God allowed some fish and few loaves of bread to feed 5,000 men, God blessed the churches’ contributions and the Thwake Village dug its first water well in 2011.
Not long into the initial construction phase the plan hit a snag. Engineers soon discovered that the water table was much deeper than expected, and they capped the construction of the well until they could come up with a plan to pump and store the water for use. Pastor Nzioka brought the news back to the loyal donors in the Heartland and they joined together to raise additional funds to purchase a generator that could pump water from such a deep base. Thwake villagers placed two cisterns in the village—one at the school and one at the health clinic—and with the funds raised they purchased the generator and set it up to send the water into each one.
Although this project took longer than initially expected, the water well was officially up and running by 2013 and the Thwake Villagers, for the first time in the life of their community, had access to clean running water.