Daily life in Luhombero

If you live in North America, it is hard to comprehend the level of difficulty people face in Luhombero, to do the simplest of things; like boiling water for dinner. Wells with potable water are quite a distance away, and women and children spend a significant portion of their day collecting water and walking it home or carrying it on a bike.

Some families take 10 minutes to 15 minutes to each a well. These wells were made by the government but there are not enough of them to service the population. Sometimes it is difficult to fix such wells because the machines used to drill them are very primitive. They cannot dig very deep into  the earth. They normally make such wells alongside the basin where the depth to get water is not so deep.

The two wells in the parish, if they are renovated, can help to serve the nearby families. They need the pumping machines to be repaired. To fix them would require approximately $300-to-400 USD per well. There are machines which can make bore holes to have water but they cost up to $3,000 USD to order.

Some local people can make simple bore holes. It is the matter of negotiation. It can be $500 USD up to $1,500 USD, depending on the depth they dig, for these low-tech wells. So fixing our two parish wells is the most logical approach to help the people with the water shortage.

The “waiting room” for medical attention in Luhombero is under the shade of a tree. Below, you see women and children gathered, awaiting their turns at the small clinic.

Schools in Canada and the US are free. Schools in Kenya are not. Most families have to pay to send their children to school, and make huge financial sacrifices in order to do so. Lots of bright children must drop out of school because their family cannot afford the school fees.


Attacked by a Hippopotamus

“A very threatening event today. A hippo has broken the leg of a boy. He is 27 years old. He was going to the farm to work and on the way he met the hippo.

People brought him at Luhombero dispensary but of course there is very little medicine. People from all the corners of the village have come to the dispensary to witness the event. It is very terrible. Up to this moment I am struggling to get a car from the government authority but have not yet succeeded.

The boy cannot get proper treatment in Mahenge, or Ifakara or Morogoro town. It must be in Dar es Salaam. But how to reach there? It is the riddle. I wish I had the way to help. Every day is another riddle.”

— Father Placid

UPDATE** January 30, 2017

Two months after the hippo attack, the victim is still recovering at a medical facility in Ifakara. The hippo, had been a threat in the Luhombero area for months.

Eventually the local government had to make plans to shoot it. “It was not possible to employ a traditional method of killing the hippo because it mostly stayed in the local swamp, not a river.”