Water Women Provide Clean Water In Kenya
And through funding from a Rotary Club in North Dakota, water storage tanks mean fewer trips to the water source
For more than 30 years, the Diocese of Bismarck has been sending its members to work with the people of Kenya. Priests, deacons, seminarians, and lay missionaries have all taken part in providing educational and health assistance, especially to orphans whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS.
“It extends back to Bishop John Kinney,” said Fr. David Morman, who has now been the Administrator of the mission in Kenya since 2017. “He determined that it should be part of our Diocesan outreach. He was able to develop a relationship with a Bishop here in Kenya, and the people of the Bismarck Diocese have been very generous in supporting it over the years.
“Our main focus is an orphan education program. Currently we have 465 orphans in primary and secondary schools, and 25 in post-secondary programs.”
Supporters of Water With Blessings know that children in many areas of the developing world suffer from water-borne illnesses. Those in Kenya are no different. Two of Fr. David’s friends, Wes and Kathy Pepple of Williston, North Dakota, read about Water With Blessings in a Catholic periodical, and clipped the article.
“They asked me if the mission would be interested in working with Water With Blessings,” Fr. David said. “We contacted the Diocesan Director of Missions, then got in touch with Sr. Larraine. Wes and Kathy spoke with her, and learned how the process works. Then Sr. Larraine put us in touch with Sr. Pauline, a Franciscan in Kisumu, Kenya, who works with Water With Blessings.
“Officially, we started in October 2019. We hired Lilian Kwamboka and trained her using the help of Sr. Pauline and the information and materials from Water With Blessings. We now have 175 Water Women in our area.”
Travel restrictions over the past year have slowed the progress.
“The Covid pandemic really affected us,” Fr. David said. “Visitors from the US have been the ones bringing us the filters, and we had lined up three different groups of people for 2020. That would have meant another 200 filters.”