Hi! My name is Twiga; I'm called Twiga because I am really tall for my age. I live in the county of Marsabit in Northern Kenya. In Marsabit it hardly rains the land lay barren for much of the year but once in a while it rains but mere drizzles which quickly soaks into the ground. My whole clan lives together, we're pastoralists meaning we move in search of greener pastures which are certainly rare in Northern Kenya.
I have always dreamt of going to school. However, we are pastoralists which mean there is no time for school. Many times government officials have come up to our clan elders and have insisted that they take my cousins and I to school. But their pleading fell on deaf ears and the government officials stopped insisting on it. In the whole clan there is only one man who can read and that is my father who used to sneak off to school while herding the cattle. He finished high school but could not go to university since there was no money for that.
My father inspired me to go to school however; the problem is that the closest school is in Moyale which is many miles away and would take days to get there.
But me going to school is my second issue, the first is finding water. Living in a semi-arid area means water is scarce and very precious. It hurts me to see how the water we dig out from the oasis is wasted. It's understandable when it's used to water the cattle and camels, to bathe and to drink. But they use the water for weird rituals, where they pour the water into the ground and if it soaks it means the ancestors have drank the water if not the water is bewitched. It keeps reminding me of the world if we don't take care of our precious resources. Imagine a world where water will no longer be a necessity rather than a commodity, flora and fauna extinct and food is synthetic. This is what keeps me cautious of how I use the water we find.
For a long time now I have wondered how people in Mombasa and Turkwel get tap water, my father told me there are huge walls built in a river to hold back water which forms a lake. The water is then piped to a water treatment plant that make the water suitable for washing, cleaning and even drinking in many countries. So I have made a plan of building a dam on the mighty Ewaso Ngiro River.
This way my clan and many other clans won't have to be pastoralists. We can all settle down and the children can go to school, finish and even go to university. There is one problem Iam only a child and I can't go to Nairobi alone, so that is why I told my father my plan. He agreed with me and we planned to go Nairobi together. I have always wanted to go to the capital city. We went to Nairobi by airplane it was a great experience but not for my father he was shaking like a leaf and said flying is for birds not man. I immediately burst out laughing; the most educated, most respected and most intelligent man in my clan was scared to be in an airplane.
Once we reached Nairobi, I was flabbergasted Nairobi was big and busy. There were cars everywhere and people walking minding their own business. Many of them were holding briefcases and talking into mobile phones. Thereafter, we booked into a small hotel in the central business district. We were both exhausted and dozed off. It was hard to sleep with all that noise pollution.
The next day we went to Ministry of water, Maji house and showed my idea to the minister. She liked it and even implemented the construction of Ewaso Ngiro Dam. The news about the dam building spread like wildfire and it was all over the news, luckily no news reporters caught my father and I.
Once we got back to Marsabit we found our clan members holding a feast for us after hearing about our mission in Nairobi. The dam is still under construction. Now many clans including ours have settled down in a town near Ewaso Ngiro and named it Drought city because of its surrounding.
We should all start thinking of alternatives to provide and preserve our precious resources. We can start using solar power for heating water and houses, biogas or wind energy for electricity.