• Osman has drilled several boreholes in his 8.5-acre compound, which is along the road leading to Sun ‘n’ Sand Beach Resort.
• He pumps the water to the five water points.
A timely intervention by a foreign investor has filled Kikambala residents in Kilifi county with the confidence they can beat the coronavirus.
Elsek Group of Companies CEO Elsek Osman has provided piped water in five different points for residents so they can wash their hands.
Rajab Bolingo, a resident and plumber who was contracted to lay the 1.7km pipes from Osman’s house, said they appreciated the investor's kind gesture.
Kikambala Sun ‘n’ Sand village has a population of slightly more than 2,500 people, but have grappled with water scarcity for long.
“We may go up to two weeks without water in the taps for the few who have tap water in their houses,” Bolingo said.
Residents had to walk for tens of kilometres to fetch the precious commodity. Not anymore.
Osman has drilled several boreholes in his 8.5-acre compound, which is along the road leading to Sun ‘n’ Sand Beach Resort, from which he pumps the water to the five water points.
Residents can now easily access the 500,000 litres of water pumped from the boreholes to their neighbourhood each day.
“We wash our hands almost every minute now because that is what we have been told,” Bolingo said.
Aisha Makenzi says women have been spared the long distances they took every day to fetch the commodity.
“Now we only stroll a short distance to fetch water for drinking and also for domestic chores,” Makenzi said.
After the coronavirus pandemic hit the country, Osman provided soap at all the five water points.
However, he says he is disappointed by the residents who keep on stealing the soap.
“But I understand them and it is not a problem for me. They steal to go and use at home which is also okay. I can always replace the stolen soap. It does not cost much,” Osman said.
Juma Anderson, a boda boda rider, says they are now more cautious than ever over the disease.
“Before the water provided by Osman, we never used to bother washing our hands even though we carry many people we do not know,” Anderson said.
Now, he says, they wash not only their hands after every trip, but also frequently wash their bikes.
“Business has improved slightly for us since we started washing our bikes frequently because clients say we are now cleaner and are impressed,” he said.
Habiba Ibrahim, a vegetable vendor, says she forces her customers to wash their hands at one of the five water points which has been installed in front of her kiosk before they touch any food item.
“At first they did not like it but they are slowly becoming used to it,” Habiba said.
Engineer Robert Bakila urged more of the wealthy individuals who reside in Kikambala to follow suit and also do something for the community.
“We live in harmony with them and some have even invested in hotels and resorts here. They should do more social responsibility activities,” he said.
Osman says he is in talks with different stakeholders to join hands with him to increase the amount of water provided to the residents.
He has asked the Kenya Power Company to consider reducing the electricity bills because the water he pumps goes out to the community.
(edited by o. owino)