by Paustine Kigen, CRF Kenya

Where were the people? It appeared that I had just entered into a no-man’s land. We were here to commission and dedicate a water well. But it seemed that we were in the middle of nowhere. 

When I first came to Kamerich village in the remote West Pokot area of Kenya, you could hardly see a soul. Despite the vast land area that is filled with sand and occasional trees, it doesn’t appear that human beings could live in this spot. How do you survive in a desert with no water? Where do you get food? Will this ever change? And why in the world did CRF and Hope Water Africa pick this spot to drill a well?

And then it happened. At first it was eerie. People started coming out from the bushes. They were there all along, but they were terrific at hiding. Out of nowhere, all of these people started emerging to commission and dedicate this well. There were women carrying water containers on their heads. There were children joyfully singing. And even goats showed up. They wanted their thirst to be quenched too. 

Where were the houses? Where did the people live? It made no sense until you heard the purpose of the well. It was a unity well. The new water was to be a unifier for the communities in this area. Instead of locating a well for a single village, they chose to build it in a central area where all the nearby villages could come and get clean water. Now the villagers would get to know each other at the well. Enemies could become friends. Relationships could be built no matter what tribe they were from. The well brought water. And the well brought peace. 

According to Chief Stephen Lomunan—“These people are witnessing what they thought would never happen to them. Thank you for heeding to their cries and providing water when they least expected it.”

This new well was a place of healing. People’s bodies were healed by clean water. And people’s relationships were healed by sharing the water. This well was located in just the right place.