Jennifer and the Wells of Kamatumu: Community Savings and Development in Kenya

Kenya Savings Group Mothers

How often do you remember your dreams? Are there any that return to you regularly?

Recently a young woman from Kitui County in Kenya shared with me her greatest dream: water that fetches itself.

The journey from Jennifer's village to the river is over 12 miles. Residents make a daily trek, ferrying jerry cans with over 40 pounds of water each. Children miss school. Lives are spent collecting water.

In Kamatumu, only 10% of children ever set foot in a high school. There is minimal infrastrucuture: no water, electricity, or paved roads. The walk to Tana River takes 3 hours. "Women must be economically empowered to serve as stakeholders in the community", we're told.

Water is a precious commodity

In partnership with ninety friends in her community, Jennifer and the Kamatumu Savings Group are saving to build community wells and set up local water tanks. To date they have saved over 180,000 Kenya Shillings.

Community Savings in Kenya
During a Savings Group Meeting in Kenya

When communities come together it's amazing the difference they can make.

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(Photos: At Top women gather for a savings group meeting by Adam Dickens, Middle Left and Center the journey to fetch water by Clare McEvoy/Trocaire, at Right the Tana River by Sonia Patterson, Bottom Savings groups meetings in Kamatamu by Adam Dickens).