NEWARK — Water Is Life Kenya (WILK) recently received a $180,000 grant from the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities, which is headquartered in Wilmington. The grant, which will be paid in equal installments, will support the WASH program that will provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and the Hope for Widows Project, an income-generating, agricultural sustainability and microloan program.
The WASH projects most typically include drilling a borehole at least 650 feet deep and adding the necessary components, according to Water Is Life Kenya. WILK provides strong monitoring, helping to ensure that 85% of its water projects still provide uninterrupted service. The projects normally involve 2,500-5,000 people, up to 10,000 domestic animals and thousands of wildlife. The total cost of the borehole ranges from $50,000-80,000.
Hope for Widows is a subset of the Livestock as a Business program, which has been in operation since 2011. It operates in southern Kenya among the Maasai people, who are traditional herders and nomads, according to WILK. Development has stifled their nomadic culture, but they continue to keep livestock for sale and consumption. The LAB focuses on teaching Maasai men and women the most efficient and effective ways to maintain a healthy herd. The Hope for Widows Program will directly impact 150 women and their families and will require $50,000.
Water Is Life Kenya has been operating for 15 years. Executive director and co-founder Joyce Tannian lives in Newark and is a 1983 graduate of Saint Mark’s High School.