A Lasting Impact Part 2: Kenya Machackos


The Kenya Machackos program began in 2003 and continued until 2010 with World Renew and local partner NACODEV under the leadership of Pastor Cosmas Mwanzia. At the outset, the communities in this semi-arid region were dealing with chronic food and water shortages. Women were walking up to 20 miles for water.

The program began with the community assessing their own resources and needs through participatory rural appraisal. They formed a plan and got to work. The farmers began meeting twice a month. They established tree nurseries and distributed drought tolerant seeds.

Recognizing that the situation wasn’t going to improve unless they took action, the community got organized and began excavating water pans. They also worked to improve the roads so that they would be able to transport their crops to market when they had extra. As things improved, the community continued to organize around additional projects as well as advocating for themselves with the Kenyan government. It has become such an impressive story of change that people from all over the country have come to see what they are doing and try it in their own communities.

Since the program ended in 2010, they have continued their work:

  • 8 earth dams have increased to 13
  • 147 subsurface sand dams have increased to 177
  • 512 water pans have increased to 782, while others have been deepened and expanded
  • 2,400 bio-sand filters have increased to 3,800, bringing safe drinking water to communities
  • 3 secondary schools have increased to 4
  • 2,700 self-help group members have increased to 4,800
  • 12 shallow wells have been dug
  • 6,505 households have access to water
  • 164,000 trees have been planted
  • 870 vulnerable children have been supported to improve their lives and access education

Pastor Cosmas recently shared, “God has answered our prayers concerning our road and excavations of water pans in the Katangi community. The government has taken the burden of repairing the road and they have started. The community has been given the mandate to elect a committee to oversee the work and I am the chairman of that project management committee.”

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