Homes, hopes and happiness
The families who moved in in April are enjoying their new homes. They continue to help the project in practical ways, providing security for the site, help with curing the slab on the latest houses and other contributions to the work made possible because they are now residents.
Commemoration and thanks at Kamulu
One of these tasks is watering the three saplings recently planted by Robert Neill who came from Ireland and visited the project. He is the brother-in-law of CHT's late founder Chairman and enduring inspiration, Clifford Dann. Robert was invited to plant some tree saplings in memory of Clifford, to commemorate his visit and also to acknowledge help given to the project over the years by the Neill family.
Below, the planting ceremony - with Robert Neill hard at work, watched by members of the CHG Board including Chairman Harrison Kwach (fifth from right) and Project Manager Abdi Mohammed (third from right). In the foreground two more little trees are waiting their turn! This is the first small step towards the greening of the site, with individual gardens to be created and the planting of many more trees, many of which will acknowledge the help and financial contributions of supporters
Off to school
The school-age children have been attending their new schools for a few months - see some of them, below, as they set off for their daily walk to school. You may be surprised to see their warm clothing! From June to as late as September is the cold season in Nairobi County. Nairobi, although not so far from the Equator, is at an elevation of 1800 metres and at this time of year the air has a quite chilly, mountain-like quality.
Only two of the three children, below, are on their way to school. The little boy was very keen to join his sisters in the photograph! They are three of Sarah's four children - the fourth is still a baby, seen in the lower photo,
The two older children, below, are also part of Sarah's household, where she looks after them long-term for her sister who lives up-country (see Sarah's video in For five families the future is now). They are two of the teenagers she mentions who are thrilled that the family no longer have to live and sleep all in one 3-metre square room, now having one bedroom for the parents, one for the boys and one for the girls.
And, lastly for now, Maureen is about to set off with her eldest child - the other two are too young for school yet. As you can see from the uniform, he attends a different local school.
When the first five families moved in work was beginning on house six, and then house seven was built, and now house eight is almost done.
These latest three houses were all possible thanks to the generosity of three separate donors each giving funds for a complete house. The MWAMKO members and the managing team of CHG (Kenya) have shown time and again that if they receive funds they directly put them to good use. And of course, all donations are greatly appreciated, of whatever size. Taken together they all combine to build houses. If you would like to help you can do so by clicking the 'donate' button.
As with the previous group of houses, they are not quite completed but all brought to the same stage so that economies of scale can come into play, purchasing in quantity and also making doors, windows and fittings on site at the same time. Right now the metalwork for the doors and windows is being carried out by a professional metalworker onsite with help from the building team when needed - a more economical solution than contracting out the work.
Throughout, the Project Manager and the CHG (Kenya) Board have put enormous effort into using funds efficiently and wisely, following local fluctuations in commodity prices, identifying and using reliable suppliers directly, without incurring the costs of intermediaries - a great advantage of self-build
Once completed these three houses will soon be occupied after following the same allocation procedure as before.
Seeing is believing
This is the site when the families moved in - five houses done and occupied, with the sixth well- advanced, thanks to a new donation for a complete house, seen on the right of the picture.
Then we received another donation to fund house number seven and work began immediately. You can see the cold, dreary seasonal weather!
The foundations had to be deeper for this house, with five courses of masonry wall and then 126 tonnes of rock and murrum were needed for backfilling.
This, below, is not the most exciting of videos but it's a reminder of the back-breaking work involved in actually doing the backfilling! Below the video is a photo of the seventh house at slab level.
A gift from another generous benefactor has meant that CHG (Kenya) had enough funds to build house eight. Here, below, team members work on the slab for the eighth house, showing the wooden frame that surrounds what will be the top of the staircase to access the two attic rooms.
At the left of the photo is the already-roofed house number seven
NOTE, below! One of the grevillea saplings can be seen flourishing near house eight. Also known as the silky oak, they grow tall very quickly, are good for the soil and provide shade.
In addition to the tree you can see the latest stage of the current phase of building work - the team, led by the professional metalworker who comes to the site, are hard at work making the railings, doors, spiral staircase and window frames for the three most recent houses.
CHG and MWAMKO have now almost completed the eight houses which make the first row on the site plan, (below).
Note: the houses have been built starting with number 8 on the plan and ending with number 1, because of the lie of the land.
As you can see, there's a long way to go! The next house to be built is number 16 on the plan, continuing to work in reverse numerical order to house 9, at the top of what will be the access road.
That will be another eight houses, so that another eight families will have new homes.
You can help us to help more families move from the Korogocho slum to the new housing at Kamulu
As before, we are grateful for donations of all sizes. To start to build a house they need to buy hard core, cement, stone building blocks and much more. The overall cost of building each house is £10,000 or has been. Kenya, like the rest of the world, sadly has growing inflation.
Any donation you feel you can make would be a valued step towards completing a house
To make a donation please go to the 'donate' button