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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Recreation: Kenya

Water for Africa

Africa, Kenya

by Drew Denzin, Ololulunga, Kenya

Water is used only for bathing, drinking or cooking, and watering cattle. We have not seen anyone enjoying the river recreationally. Children entertain themselves in other "land locked" ways.

by John and Kim Shumlansky, Mount Kenya National Forest, Kenya

It is rare to find children playing in the streams by our village, because the water is too cold. Kangaita is located about one degree south of the Equator, but is also at about 9,000 feet above sea level. At this elevation, Kangaita is one of the coldest inhabited areas in Kenya. Furthermore, the water in the streams by Kangaita originates from the glaciers on Mount Kenya, and the water does not warm up much on its short journey to our village. The temperature of the water helps to keep it clean, but it is way too cold for children to play and swim in.

by Melissa Perry, Oyugis, Kenya

Since water is sometimes scarce in my community, children don't play games with water. Most small children are brought to a stream nearby with their mamas and they bathe in this stream. During this time the children swim and play in the water.

by Bryce Sitter, Mobile Clinic, Kajiado, Kenya

The last time it rained I did see kids playing in some water. It is also one of the few times I saw cars being washed.

by Barbara Hinsman, Vigeze Village, Vihiga, Kenya

I rarely see water being used for recreation by Maragoli people. In fact, many people I know are afraid of water and do not know how to swim. This may be due to the lack of ponds and lakes in the immediate area. It is interesting to compare the Maragoli to the Luo people in that respect. The Luos, who have lived on the shores of Lake Victoria since they arrived in East Africa thousands of years ago, are fond of water. Every time I go to Kisumu, a nearby city on the lake, I always see naked Luo children splashing about in ponds by the side of the road. When Maragoli people who live only 20 km (13 miles) away see this, they think it is very funny and inappropriate behavior. I imagine the Luos also laugh when they learn of Maragolis who are afraid of water and swimming. It is amazing to think that these two tribes still have opposite personalities despite the fact that they have lived in such proximity to each other for so long.

by Patrick Campbell, Mombasa, Kenya

Living on the ocean, many people will, of course, swim. Most of the water recreation on the coast is enjoyed by tourists who have the time and the money to sail, windsurf, snorkel, and dive.

The locals fish, but more as a source of food and income than of recreation.

by David Frommell, Bagoo, Rift Valley Province, Kenya

Water-based recreation is uncommon in Kericho District. In rural communities where the local water source is the nearby river or stream, children can often be found bathing and splashing in the water.

Kericho Town boasts only one operational swimming pool, which is fenced in at the exclusive Tea Hotel. Built by the Brooke Bond Kenya tea company, the luxurious hotel sits above the Brooke Bond tea fields, approximately one kilometer from Kericho town center. The hotel, originally used by the white owners of Brooke Bond to house visitors from the United Kingdom, is now owned and managed by Kenyans.


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