Providing safe drinking water in rural Kenya

Michiko Mitarai shows Ugandan villagers a Japanese method for drawing water from a well.

Michiko Mitarai shows Kenyan villagers a Japanese method for drawing water from a well.

By Michiko Mitarai, Rotary Club of Tokyo Hiroo

Rotary has changed my life in many ways. Through Rotary, I have discovered the world is a bigger place and I have been able to visit parts of it that I would never have been able to if I hadn’t joined.

As a member of the Rotary club of Tokyo Hiroo, I traveled to rural communities in Kenya with members of four different Rotary clubs. We visited 14 wells that our club supported. In Funyula, near the border of Uganda, we even stayed at the house of a member of the Rotary Club of Nairobi East, who was once a member of our club while he served as the Kenyan Ambassador to Japan.

Our wells in Kenya are providing clean, safe water that is improving the quality of life for hundreds of villagers. Children under five are better protected from water-borne diseases. Women and children do not have to go to crocodile-infested rivers to fetch water. And since the children get sick less, and the girls do not have to help their mothers fetch water, they can spend more time in school.

When the women in the village told us their stories, and how grateful they were to Rotary, I felt such happiness at being a member. What one can do alone is limited, but what we can do together in Rotary is truly amazing, and changes the lives of others for the better.

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