Clean water is a basic need for human life, yet access to it is far from equitable. According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO), 785 million people lacked access to clean drinking water, with more than half of those individuals living in sub-Saharan Africa as of 2017. The Samburu Project is helping change that.

The Samburu Project not only provides access to clean water to communities in the Samburu region of Kenya by building wells, but the organization also provides ongoing support to these communities through initiatives promoting education, health, women’s empowerment, and overall well-being. The Samburu Project preaches that water is “health, education, community, empowerment, dignity, hope and life”. The Samburu Project works in accordance with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6 to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Clean water allows advancement for women and girls

Providing easier access to clean water for communities like Samburu has the greatest impact on the region’s women and girls. Since the responsibility of gathering water for the community typically falls on women and girls – who must walk up to 12 miles a day to collect it – women often cannot work nor can girls attend school. With the help of The Samburu Project’s well-drilling in these communities, women and girls can pursue both education and income-generating activities. The organization also partners with schools in the community that teach the importance of hygiene, sanitation, and education. The newly-empowered women uncover that they have the autonomy to choose education and the ability to provide for themselves and their families in new ways such as through brick making businesses, beading, and successful agriculture businesses.

Providing the Pasinae Self Help Group of Lechur Village clean water

One of many groups in need was the Pasinae Self Help Group of Lechur Village, located 14 km east of Wamba in central Kenya. According to the Samburu Project, 670 people, 2,000 cows, 10,000 goats, 50 donkeys, and 200 camels call this place home and were in desperate need of clean water.

The Bailard Foundation has had the honor of being able to participate in bringing water to the Samburu community. Despite all the hardships that the year 2020 brought to the world, the Bailard Foundation, through the hard work of The Samburu Project, was able to co-fund the cost of drilling a well for the Pasinae Self Help Group. You may also learn more in a video from The Circle World Water Day Virtual Event hosted by The Samburu Project on their efforts in Kenya.

Bailard’s values-driven culture is present not only in the office but embedded in our dedication to community involvement. To formalize this passion, the Bailard Foundation was founded in 2019 in tandem with Bailard’s 50th Anniversary. The Foundation supports initiatives important to the Bailard family, employees, and clients alike, and strives to improve the communities that we engage with. The four main focus areas the Foundation targets are affordable housing, homelessness & poverty, financial literacy, and international impact projects. The Bailard Foundation has a board of directors that is led by chairwoman Terri Bailard, widow of firm co-founder Tom Bailard, and features both friends of Bailard, Inc. and employees.