Easing life for the thirsty

On the 17th of September we had a wonderful inch of rain through out the Ndotos, and the surrounding areas.. After so many months of incredible heat and wind it was JUST AMAZING!! It was gentle all night rain out of the blue, which was a saviour to all living creatures.. … Only problem was it did not really help the water situation so we continue to work hard on all fronts!

this is the trail of thirsty elephants walking up the Milgis Lugga in search of water

Here we are following a long elephant trail up the Milgis lugga.. We are quite far to the east of the 2 mountain ranges.. Ndoto and Lenkiyou, the water towers that feed the Milgis lugga, but at the moment there is no water any where.. The Elephants love it down here because when the Milgis river floods, millions and millions of tons of water, mud and seeds are deposited down stream, so this is where the elephants like to browse BUT it means they have a very long walk to the nearest water!
the first well they come across is dry

the next one they come across is dangerously deep in the soft sand, but they get their water.. They had an absolute party!!  BUT there’s a problem, an equally thirsty hard working man dug this well for his live stock the day before and now its been destroyed!

Imagine if you had spent the whole of yesterday digging your well to find the elephants came in the night and had a ‘field day’ in your well..


Here is our scout from the area having a look at the situation preparing himself to talk carefully and wisely to the owner!.. Their job  is to keep the peace between the people and the wildlife.. Difficult at the best of times, but this man ( the owner) will have probably walked a very long way this morning!.. So the scout will have his work cut out!
Another well.. The elephant nearly fell in.. Just too dangerous..

The solution … here we are.. We employ the local Samburu living up and down the luggas where water is difficult for wildlife to dig ‘eley friendly wells’


Elephant safe well.. Mpagas

We have at the moment 10 big open wells up and down the major luggas for the wildlife.. Its lovely to hear the enthusiasm of the teams when they find the tracks of lions, leopards, hyenas, caracals, honey badgers, porcupines bush pigs, warthogs and many more all trotting down into their wells for water.. They don’t even mind if the Elephants had a proper party..

A second well 6 kms west of Mpagas

each morning the teams come down to the lugga and improve the well , make sure its still good..

the great thing about these wells is during the day they can be used by the people .. some who have come a very long way to collect water.. the only payment is some times these days the elephants come in the day time so they must let them drink!

Also a good opportunity to catch up on the news from all around for our scouts!

donkey all packed up and ready too go..

Keno/Milgis Junction.. All the livestock enjoying the eley friendly wells! Later we noticed a huge troop of baboons came to enjoy the ‘free’ Milgis water!

Look at all these these doves waiting for water as well..

With these doves coming in their hundreds and thousands brings all the fabulous birds of prey

booted eagle.. taken in July very unusual at that time of the year!..

For the people and their livestock we’ve been on the ball as well, trying to keep the situation in good shape..We have been busy doing lots of work on our solar water projects .. the drought biting hard on all fronts..  

here at Kasipo
This is our Kasipo sign post. Sadly the borehole we had a pump in earlier in 2013 collapsed and after much ‘ toing and frowing’ decided we HAD to help out and drill a new bore hole.. this will ease the pressure on the beautiful lugga above and leave the wildlife at peace..

the old system still kept well by the community..

the panels after 8 years still in perfect shape

BUT no water in the borehole.. 

SOOOO.. start with a survey…

looking for water at Kasipo

Kasipo survey…

The Survey man says there’s water, and the community prayed to NGAI… 

drilling new bore hole at Kasipo.. At 100 meters down we have VERY GOOD WATER and PLENTY!! We are very excited and the community ecstatic..

Our new project in the desert … This borehole was dug at the time they built the road for the wind power but there was not enough water for the road, and was deserted but the other day the community took control and have asked Milgis to help get the water out..

lugga moran bore hole.. south east of Mt Nyiru

We have decided to at least put a trough and a solar pump to help both wild life and livestock passing through..

First we had to flush it out.. The lorries got badly stuck getting there, and spent a very long night digging themselves out.. All part of the challenges there… 

flushing lugga moran borehole


water!!! hooooooray.. probably the most valuable thing on earth!


community soooooo excited

goats happy as well.. the borehole is 195 meters deep but the good news is we should be able to get at least 1 cubic meter per hour out..

We hope to install a small solar pump and to build a trough, for wildlife and livestock alike.. with a small outlet for people passing by to fill their gerry cans..

Next to Siangaan .. the community dug a very deep well and have asked the Milgis to secure it from flooding.. 

Siangaan.. this community asking for help to secure their well..

The well is quite dangerous as is.. Lekilwai was waiting for us.. a good friend of the ‘Milgis”..  He sadly had his leg amputated when he was quite young because of this ghastly incurable Madura foot.. He has a prosthetic leg  given to him by the Milgis SMF now, but because he was incapacitated, he missed out on his warrior years which has been very hard for him.. At least he was useful this day, as he was asked to wait for us to show the well..

Just as a by the way, the Milgis helps a lot of people in the area when they have health problems they can not deal with, or have no one else to turn to.. as per our MOTTO.. ‘You can not talk CONSERVATION to a person in need with out helping him deal with his problem’

On our travels, we often meet these people who now are able to live their lives decently.. its great!..

Siangaan well.. its about 40 feet deep in soft sand so we hope to be able to help with this..  The logs had been put across the well to stop it getting flooded, and to save a disaster of something falling in,  it had been opened up so we could check it out.. We have found a new system of heavy 1 meter pipping that we could put in as a sleeve to save the well..

back at Kasipo… 

another well at Kasipo.. a back up system to the borehole should the pump break down..

Discussions on how best to safe guard the well..

Really dangerous.. again an elephant could slip in..You can see where he was standing.. all he wants is a simple drink!

The risk of leaving this well open to an elephant slipping in, got to our conscience, plus rains hopefully on their way we decided to start work soonest..   It was impossible to include the elephant in the equation BUT there is good and safe water further up stream so they will have to go there.. ..  

Work done so far! Its looking good, and is now safe as far as the elephants are concerned..

I leave you with a multitude of pictures on what its like to maintain our solar water projects!.. showing you some of the challenges out there… Also consider we are 300 kms away from the nearest town for materials! 

this is at Keleswa, community always very keen to help… They are lowering a pump back down into a bore hole.. a very dangerous and delicate job, which needs good control .. The pipe gets very heavy..

Broken solar panel.. as always in life, even up here, you have jealousy, or misunderstanding which is VERY FRUSTRATING!.. Or it may be just bad luck.. we’ve had a few this year sadly.. even somebody throwing a stone thinking the panels are water!??

Urra… All good, pump is working!

Urra.. new panels and pump

the complicated wiring in the controller Urra

rewiring the solar panels having replaced the broken one.. Ilgwe Eldome

Urra. All the parafinalia one needs for work.. Remembering that they have to walk 3 kms with every thing as there’s no road, so don’t forget anything..

Urra.. Balancing on the solar frame to drill the holes for the panels

Urra.. cementing the frame in.. cement carried 3 kms in the wheel barrow

Urra.. welding the frame together.. generator carried 3 kms by hand!!

beginnings of a frame.. Urra

the community always there to help, to get all the materials on site.. Urra

last stop in the car.. Urra centre now they walk the last 3 kms

carrying the solar panels 3 kms

the all important community meetings

testing the pump before you put it all together ..Ilgwe Eldome

We are looking for support to our wells and solar water projects if any one is interested in helping, PLEASE!

PLEASE CLICK below for a report, and more explanation by Digs on some of the other work being done keeping all the projects working and producing lots of water!!


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