Monday, December 08, 2003

DES expedition achievements in Kenya

Those of us who have not been on an expedition to Kenya probably do not realise the full extent of the achievements made over the past five years. Here is a brief summary.

The Baragu Health Centre:
A local initiative to provide affordable basic health care and health education to the Baragu-Murungi community. The foundations were dug by the Kenya 99 expedition group, and funding of the project has so far exceeded £32000. The ten-roomed single storey building is almost complete, but the major task of providing medical equipment has only just begun. The Kenya 2001 team shipped a generator out, but the list of requirements is extensive. The centre opened to patients in October 2001 and the government hospital at Chuka seconded three nurses who treat an average of 60 patients a day. Easter 2003 saw the completion of an extensive sewage system and the laying of a fixed pipe from the adjacent water project. The water originates from Lake Ellis 20 miles away high on the slopes of Mt Kenya.

In July 2003 a staff accommodation block was started, an essential requirement before the maternity unit can be opened. A delivery couch and 8 maternity beds are now needed as well as specialist infant care equipment. We look forward to the momentous day when the Baragu Health Centre welcomes its first new baby into the community.

The Katharaka Primary School:
Games equipment, team strips, musical instruments, books, pencils, wall clocks and a duplicating machine have been donated. Eight classrooms have been painted over the five years, and a partially built room was completed and equipped with desks by the 2001 expedition group.
The Easter 2002 group glazed all the windows in one of the classroom blocks and painted murals on many of the walls. There is a great deal more to do including the replacement of many broken windows, floor repairs and the provision of reading and reference books.

Wiru Secondary School:
This is a special initiative by the community to provide affordable secondary schooling for those who cannot pay to attend the well-established private schools. The Summer 2003 expedition helped with classroom building work, purchased window frames and fitted the glass in two classrooms. Sets of science text books were also supplied. We are sponsoring a special young man named George and we are following his progress with great interest.