Last month I visited the Maasai, a semi-nomadic tribe of herders in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. The trip was like stepping back in time. Though only a two-hour drive from cosmopolitan Nairobi, Maasai society is largely untouched by modernity. The people live in bomas, small huts made of dried mud, thatch and cow dung. Their affluence is measured by the quantity of their goats and cattle.
Adorned in their colorful, beaded jewelry, the women stand out in stark contrast to the dusty, drought-ravaged landscape. But as I began to hear their stories and learn more about their lives, I was quick to discover — life is not easy for a Maasai woman.
Meet Hanna Ntingista. She’s a 55-year-old mother of eight.
“The Maasai lady is the busiest of all ladies,” she said.
Hanna wakes up at 4 a.m. to take care of the cows. After tending to the cattle, she wakes her children and prepares them for school. Then, she begins the hour-long trek to fetch water.
“It’s the job of the woman to fetch water,” she said. “But there is no water nearby and this is a big problem. I have to take my donkey and walk many miles. I try and minimize my trips because it’s backbreaking work, but my family needs water.”
Thankfully, Hanna is one of 42,000 people who will soon benefit from a Cross Catholic Outreach-funded water project in the parish of Ewuaso Kedong. Led by Father John Fortune and a committee of faith-filled community members, this massive water project will provide long-term drought relief to those who need it most. Like Hanna.
“The new water will be good for my children and animals because we will be able to use much more,” she said. “And soon I will be able to start a garden. Fresh vegetables will keep my children healthy and help me earn an income. I appreciate this new water very much!”
Thank you to our generous supporters who are helping hardworking women like Hanna provide their children with one of life’s most basic needs — water. May God bless you for your compassion!