Where is Kipkelion?
Kipkelion is a rural area in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, about 160 miles (or 250 kilometres) north-west of Nairobi. It is only a few miles south of the Equator, but the hilly terrain and high altitude (around 8000 feet or 2500 metres above sea level) result in a cool, wet climate. There are around 300,000 inhabitants living in an area of about 400 square miles (1000 square kilometres) – mostly in small farms and villages, growing maize and other crops for subsistence. At least half of the population is under 18 years old.
What is it like?
Many of the communities are quite isolated, and can be reached only via miles of winding mud roads, which frequently become impassable during the heavy rains. Many children have to walk miles each day to get to school, and secondary school students often have to board at their schools in spartan conditions. A visit to a doctor or a nurse is possible only after a long journey, and transport is not always available.
What are the priorities?
The challenges in Kipkelion are to provide safe, year-round drinking water for schools and rural communities; to ensure that schools are safe, hygienic places where children (especially girls) can learn; and to give everybody access to basic healthcare and health education.