The Water Solution


People, land and wildlife: all need water to survive.


After years of experimentation we have come up with a way of building reservoirs that can be shared by everyone and everything in Samburuland – efficiently and without transmitting disease.
We have a hard-working reservoir building team, equipped with a tractor, scoop, ripper, and a long list of suitable places to dig reservoirs. We always protect the reservoirs with dry-stone walls, plant indigenous trees to conserve more water and make sure there are separate drinking places suitable for elephants, people and livestock.
It’s a simple system and it works – not only on its own but even more so when put in conjunction with our other projects. It helps keep the migration routes of people and animals open and it cuts down on thirst and disease.


Grazing & Water


Generations of Samburu have used a sophisticated system of grazing that involves leaving fallow and dry-season grazing areas for when times are hard.
They moved around the area, following the rains and anticipated where the good grass would be.
This system has broken down because of encroachment, the fragility of Samburu culture and myriad other reasons. By working with tribal leaders we ensure their knowledge is not lost but is instead passed down to future generations through the medium of our mobile schools.


Waso Chapters – Water
Blog posts on our water project:
Ch. 34: Finally a system for water that works

In the arid north of Kenya water means life. There is no explicit ownership of land and water for the Samburu. In theory any stockowner has a right to live with whom he pleases where he pleases. Certain areas are associated with certain clans but anyone is free to migrate to these places. This is our […]

Morani an elephant singing well DSC_7498sml

Walking across the open plains of Kirimon the vast expanse stretches off into haze, undercutting the hills to the north and making them levitate in the heat on the horizon. 1.a moran on the savannah of the laikipia plateau This beautiful savannah lies on the edge of the Laikipia plateau in Samburuland, and a dramatic […]


We are now in week 14 of the Chapters and have covered most of what you could call ‘the basics’ of the traditional Samburu way of life. We are now looking to introduce you to lesser known, highly sophisticated aspects of their culture. This week we begin with the singing wells. The link that the […]


1. a young girl on the waso The Waso is life for the Samburu. A large river ecosystem that begins its journey with two tributaries from the base of Mt. Kenya and the Nyandarua ranges, it flows through the heart of Samburuland and out into the arid Somali desert to the northeast. It is only […]


1. a storm in Samburuland. The Samburu thrive in drought conditions. It’s one of the defining characteristics of their culture. Their home sees desertification for the better part of every year, and recently for years at a time. The most common water source in Samburuland is the Waso Nyiro River, which has been dry in […]