The Samburu Project started in 2005 with a trip to Kenya by our Founder
Kristen Kosinski was interested in assisting in the empowerment of women in indigenous communities. In Samburu, Kristen met a respected Samburu woman named Mariamu Lekwale, "Mama Mussa," who introduced her to hundreds of Samburu women. It didn't take long to learn that the main issue for Samburu women was water. Again and again, the same story was repeated; women spend their entire day, every day of their lives, searching for water. Girls do not attend school because they are expected to assist their mothers in the quest for water. Entire communities suffer from disease because the water they are drinking comes from gaping hand-dug wells that are contaminated due to the fecal matter of livestock and wildlife. Simply stated, people were sick and dying due to diarrhea caused by water-borne diseases. Every aspect of the Samburu communities was impacted by this problem; but as women and girls are tasked with procuring water, this problem impacts their life in greater proportion. Hearing the struggle that Samburu women face due to their lack of access to clean drinking water was the impetus for starting The Samburu Project.
Together, Kristen and Mama Mussa drilled the initial four wells before Mama Mussa passed away in 2007. Kristen Kosinski continued working with the assistance of Mama Mussa's son, Lucas Lekwale. They drilled another 75 wells through 2015 when Kristen resigned her position as Executive Director.
The organization welcomed its second Executive Director, Linda Hooper early in 2016. Linda continues the legacy of these two extraordinary women through the work of TSP today.
The lack of access to clean water is an unimaginable and extraordinary problem, one that keeps the Samburu people in a hopeless cycle of poverty. With 84 wells and counting, The Samburu Project offers a simple solution to that extraordinary problem.