It’s a perfect sunny and 75° at the Samburu Project Office in Santa Monica, ideal for any outdoor activity and every tourist’s dream. There’s only one problem: it’s the middle of January…wintertime…the rest of the country is freezing. Southern California is, in fact, in the middle of a serious drought not unlike the one all of northern Kenya is facing. But what does it mean to be in the middle of a drought in California compared to the middle of a drought in rural Kenya? Why is it I hear about the impending water shortage, yet when I turn on my faucet water comes out? Why does a drought in Kenya have a devastating impact on the people and economy while in California, we are only faced with the horror of turning off our sprinklers? Depending on where you look, water scarcity and drought can be a minor inconvenience or cause for thousands of deaths, but where does the difference come from?
Water scarcity can be divided into two different categories: economic scarcity and physical scarcity. Economic scarcity suggests that water is physically there, however, a region lacks the infrastructure or bureaucracy to reach and distribute water, making access impossible and forcing more people to share the same dwindling water source. Physical scarcity signifies an actual shortage in water. California and Kenya are both facing physical scarcity but the economic scarcity intensifies the situation in Kenya. That is why The Samburu Project works so tirelessly to survey land, find wells and provide safe, clean water for up to 1,000 people. We want to give the people of the Samburu the same water security other areas of the world have.
The United Nations and the global community have recognized the importance of reducing water scarcity and so have we. We are proud to say we have brought safe water to upwards of 63,000 people in the Samburu Region with the help of you, our supporters, who share the same belief that if water scarcity does not need to exist, it should not.