Like much of Kenya, the Maragoli area faces numerous environmental challenges. Though natural springs dot the hillsides, keeping them clean and safe is an ongoing challenge. Many springs require long treks to fetch water, and some dry up in the dry season. The high demand for firewood has lead to deforestation, which in turn has created soil erosion and the decline of indigenous trees. Meanwhile, smoke inhalation from cooking is associated with a high incidence of respiratory illness.
Based on local meetings in which community members prioritized their concerns, we have supported the rehabilitation of community springs, the installation of rainwater harvest systems, the construction of sanitary latrines, and the planting of indigenous seedlings. In addition, our most recent projects seek to harness the potential of solar cooking and lighting in a region with plenty of sunshine. Working with a local affiliate of Solar Cooking International, we have provided training and solar cookits to more than one hundred families and are now piloting a solar lighting project.