Water is Life Kenya, a Delaware-based nonprofit, announced the opening ceremony for the Kuku Community deep well in southern Kenya.

Before the well, women in the community walked hours daily to dig in a dry river bed to access barely potable water. Poor water often resulted in health issues for their families. In a community with hundreds of women and each woman needing several cans of water to take care of her family, the water lines were long. The women were often forced to come at night in a group with warriors to protect them from the elephants, hyenas and lions that gather around the watering holes to drink.

The 1,700 people in the community live in a remote area. No one reached out to help them.

The two-year Kuku well project involved digging a 570-foot well through volcanic rock to access reliable clean water. Water is Life Kenya raised more than $60,000 for the deep well, a pump and power source and water storage facilities. The organization trained local operators to maintain the pumps and monitor the facility.

Joyce Tannian, founder of Water is Life Kenya, noted that with the well complete, community leaders call the area Nalepo which means “place that is flowing with good things.”

Water is Life Kenya helps bring water and livestock training to the communities living on the northern fringes of Mt Kilimanjaro. In the past 10 years, the organization completed 17 major water projects including deep and shallow wells, rainwater harvesting on schools and pipeline connections that provide water to 50,000 people on a daily basis. In addition to clean water projects, the organization runs a livestock-as-a-business program and sponsors a Fair Trade Federation listed handicrafts division that provides much needed income for the families in the region.

For more, visit waterislifekenya.org.