Revisiting Rapha Community Center
mark Purington, Eleos Project Director
In November 2017, I was able to travel to Nyahururu in Central Kenya to take in the impact of having clean, fresh water at the Rapha Community Center. Rapha supports vulnerable children in this area of Kenya and provides a safe and loving environment, something most of these children have never had. In February 2017, a new borehole was drilled to 200 meters and now provides 2,250 liters of water an hour. The impact has been shockingly amazing! Before the borehole was drilled, dirty water had to be collected every day from a dam/pond quite far from the center by the students. This task took several hours out of the student’s day. This time could have been spent studying and helping maintain the faculties at the center which included the school and dormitories. Because the students and staff were suffering every day at Rapha due to lack of water, it was not hard for me to see that Eleos Project could help. I just never imagined the impact this decision would have.
The biggest impact I witnessed when I was there in November was now they can farm year-round on the 22 acres that make up the center. Kenya typically has two growing seasons that are dependent on 1-2 annual rains. Because of this you are limited in your farming efforts if you do not have a year-round source of water for irrigating. Because Rapha now has water, I saw an abundance of food at the farm. So much food in fact that Rapha has to sell a good portion to the surrounding community. The income from this allows Rapha to buy seeds and fertilizer for the next planting. Sustainability is the name of the game if you want to succeed and this example shows what can be accomplished when you have water. Before Rapha had water, they had to buy food locally in shops to feed all the children. Now they only purchase food from the shops that the farm does not provide. Because they sell produce to the surrounding community they now have the funds to purchase these items. In addition, the school reported that they have a much lower incidence of student absence at the school due to clean, safe drinking water. Before the borehole was drilled, students were constantly getting sick due to not having a safe source of water to drink. The amazing impact at Rapha is a very good example of how water changes and transforms people and communities!.