Kenya’s drought worsens, groundwater becomes essential

By November 15, 2022

Kenya (MNN) — Kenya’s government reports worsening drought conditions. Nearly 950,000 children under five are now “acutely malnourished.”

The country has been without rain for four consecutive seasons, sending poverty and hunger rates skyrocketing. Last month, Oxfam International warned of an impending famine.

Groundwater plays an increasingly critical role as Kenya’s drought drags on.

(Photo courtesy of Kenya Hope)

“In the last few years, we have been able to put a well or a borehole in all of the communities that we have an established work in,” Joy Mueller of Kenya Hope says.

“The timing couldn’t have been better.”

The British Geological Survey found that Africa has enough groundwater for most countries to get through at least five years of drought. Scientists say most of the continent’s 72 massive aquifers remain largely untapped.

“Most of our boreholes or wells go down to 600 feet. Some are a little bit shallower at 300 feet. But so far, none of these wells have run dry, and they are a lifesaver to all these communities,” Mueller says.

“Wherever we have a borehole, all the surrounding communities flock to get fresh water for their animals and families.”

Clean water and Living Water

Bore wells allow Kenya Hope to meet physical and spiritual needs. “When we’re digging these boreholes, we are also handing out the Living Water in the form of audio Bibles,” Mueller says.

One local pastor brought the audio Bibles to a neighboring village. “He went to communities that had no Gospel witness, and he gave one (audio Bible) to a chief,” Mueller says.

“A year later, this chief called him and said, ‘Tell me how I can accept Jesus Christ because I’m listening to this audio Bible, and I know I need to get saved!’”

Today, the chief follows Christ diligently and is part of a church established in his village. “When it came time for his daughter to get married, he refused to have her married in the traditional way,” Mueller says.

“He said, ‘No, we are believers now. She’s going to get married in a church in a Christian manner.’”

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“We are so thankful to people who have heard this plea – how these people are drinking water out of the same sources [as] wild animals and livestock – and have generously given so that we could provide this clean water,” Mueller says.



The Oloollii community has always used this river as their source of water. They have never known anything different. Today, this community now has clean, clear water! (Photo, caption courtesy of Kenya Hope)