Peace Corps Volunteer Protects Water Supply in Kenya with Help of Louisville Rotary Club
August 20, 1999Washington, D.C., August 20, 1999—Luke Schulte, a 33-year old Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya from Louisville, Ky., is overseeing construction of a series of devices to protect water sources in Kenya with help from a grant from the Buechel Rotary Club of Louisville. Schulte, who has a master's degree in environmental engineering from Georgia Tech, is receiving the $9,000 grant to implement a program designed to protect 15 springs located in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Half the money was raised by the Buechel Rotary Club with contributions from other clubs including the Nakuru Rotary Club of Kenya, with the other half matched by Rotary International.
Schulte's improvements for each of the 15 springs include the installment of a fence around each spring, and 3 pipes that channel water to separate drinking and washing areas and a cattle trough.
The unprotected springs were previously used for domestic purposes such as washing and bathing, and as drinking water for both animals and humans. Such conditions have lead to water-borne diseases, including diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, and skin diseases. Diarrheal diseases rank third among the top 10 diseases in that region of Kenya and first among children. The springs will benefit 7,000 people in the rainy season and 12,000 in the dry season Don Perkey, the president of the Buechel Rotary Club, who sponsored Schulte's efforts, said: "Luke was in need, and his project was definitely worthwhile. If we can help him help others, we will." The Rotary Club and its branch, Rotary International, provide funds and assistance to domestic and international causes. Kenya is one of the 134 countries in which the Peace Corps has been active during its 38-year history. There are currently 160 volunteers in Kenya, working in the areas of business development, education, health, and environment.
Currently, nearly 7,000 Peace Corps Volunteers are working in 77 countries in education, the environment, health and nutrition, business, and community development projects. Since 1961, more than 155,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.