I first met Janet Kisari last February on a visit to Ewuaso Kedong, an area in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley devastated by cyclical drought. As a widow, she was then struggling to support her five children. Due to the dry climate, she used to spend half of every day fetching water just to meet the daily needs of her family. Though she had dreams of starting a small business and generating an income, the relentless pursuit for water simply took up too much of her time.
“Last year I desired to start a business,” she said. “But life was very hard.”
When I returned to Ewuaso again this spring, the landscape was quite different. Since then, Cross Catholic Outreach completed a large-scale water project, bringing water to 42,000 people. And the impact has been astounding.
Just ask Janet.
“Now my family and I are very happy. I am able to grow tomatoes. I sell them in Nairobi, which provides good money for my children,” she said.
“I am very proud. I am working full-time and my children are getting enough water. They have so much more energy.”
Janet’s new enthusiasm is contagious.
“It makes me glad. Even after seeing water flow here, I am still surprised,” she said. “I never thought such a thing could happen.”
“We thank God very much. He has sent us angels in you!”
It’s hard to believe that the Janet I remembered had a face etched with worry, weary from her daily burdens in the absence of water. But thanks to the new water system, she has been rejuvenated physically, economically and spiritually. With reliable access to water, I am confident that she will keep her newfound smile and continue to reap a harvest that bears much fruit.