Fairtrade Premium enables access to water

“My name is Samuel Karanja Mugake. I am a tea farmer in Gacharage Tea Factory with two acres of tea. Gacharage is located on the slopes of Mt Kenya in a town known as Murang’a. I am also the Chairman of a water project in our catchment area known as Muthiria water project. Muthiria water project is a domestic water project that taps water from a natural spring, and it is the only community water project in this area. To us, this water project is a miracle.

water project

Mr Samuel Karanja at the tap with a fellow farmer

For many years, before the inception of this project, we suffered backbreaking escapades of having to walk for very long distances to access clean water. For my case, for example, I would take my animals almost two kilometres to the nearest river, river Irati and my wife would go the same distance to fetch water for domestic use. The steep slope of the area we live in, would only add insult to the injury.

In 2007, as community members, we brought our minds together to deliberate on a satiable solution to what we now found to be a calamity to us.

A committee was selected; – the Muthiria water management committee and they approached Gacharage Tea Factory Premium Committee with a proposal for funding the water project. They required exactly Kshs4,125,000 (USD41250) for purchasing land and constructing a water intake that would tap water from the spring, it filters then pushes the clean water to 12 taps which have been strategically located in the community each at a distance of 120m from another.

The Premium committee responded to the request and availed the exact requested amount and the structures were put up.

The women in our community have now saved up to six hours daily, the amount of time they used to spend in drawing water for domestic purposes. They now have more time to tend to their tea bushes and take care of their families. Children who used to assist their parents in fetching water now have more time for attending to their homework.

We are now receiving positive reports from our local schools. They have records of improved performance and on the other hand, cases of waterborne diseases have dwindled. The pupils have more time to focus on their schoolwork and extracurricular activities and no time to worry of the next jaunt to the river to quench their thirst.”