I hope you are enjoying the start of beautiful fall. I wanted to provide a few updates on what we are up to!
As a preface, when we first started Crater Creations, we put the needs and expertise of the community first and foremost. In a rural Maasai community like Kisharu, their well-being can change at a moments notice since the majority of their sustenance comes from agriculture. Many of us don't feel the effects of climate change since we aren't as reliant on climate stability in the developed world.
Kisharu typically has two dry seasons and two farming seasons. In the past 5-6 years, the dry seasons have become progressively longer; stifling the productivity potential in the region. This creates deep economic impact. Families have to purchase food to replace the farming deficit. Livestock become smaller, and die off which can impact purchasing power. Water becomes scarce and the geothermal water systems are unable to replace the shortage. Children are forced to drop out of school as their relatives have to use income elsewhere.
This year's dry season was the worst yet. And Kisharu's needs changed. Community leaders now want to focus on sustainable water projects that are decentralized. Remember, for the Project L.I.F.E Community Center we were focused on a centralized water system that would work for future infrastructure. The problem with that version is that it only allows for families in close proximity to benefit from the water system. Instead, Kisharu wants to build these systems in key strategic locations allowing a larger majority of families who do not already have access to an existing system the opportunity to benefit from one.
2 weeks ago, we finally established the local Chase bank account in a small town called Narok, 1.5 hours away from Kiisharu. Things took longer than expected as businesses take a notoriously long time to process paperwork, especially from a small community and where most forms need to be filled out by hand (Daniel went to the bank multiple times over the last couple months).
We sent over $2,000 out of the ~$20,000 that we've raised to quickly do two things. First, we paid for Lesinko Sipitiek's and Esther Tanin's highschool programs. Their parent's, as a result of the drought, could not afford fees. Esther is in her final semester and any potential interruption could be problematic. Lesinko began highschool last year and we covered a portion of the expense. This cost around ~$400.
The remaining funds will be used for the first Crater Creations geothermal water system. The community board consisting of 8 female and 7 male leaders are meeting within the next couple weeks to determine the geographic location requiring the most water at this time. Additionally, the board has tasked themselves with making this economically sustainable. The most likely scenario is a small surcharge, cheaper than all other options, which the treasurer will collect in order to cover future school fees in the community. The board is adamant about investing the capital so shortage of funds will not occur in the future.
Finally, back on September 5th, 2017, I had the privilege of being the key-note speaker for the incoming Freshman class at Endicott College, my Alma Matter. I was able to share Crater Creation's story and vision for the future. The school donated $1,000 to the cause and we were connected with a couple potential grant connections for the upcoming year. We're working on determining our budget at the very moment.
As always, we thank you so much for the ongoing support. We have no easy task but partnering and leveraging local expertise will make the outcome substantially more impact. As the community decides on the first water system's model & location, we'll send out another update. When we assess its effectiveness, we'll move forward with more similar systems.
With all this in mind, we're ready to take a big step forward.
All the best,
Daniel Sempui (left) and Esther Tanin (right)
Lesinko Sipitiek (left) and Daniel Sempui (right)
David Freeman (Co-Founder)
David is the key-note speaker for Endicott’s 2017 Freshman class