When a truck-mounted rig that could drill to 1,000 meters became available from an American oil corporation, Living Water International purchased the rig and in 1994 established a regional office in Kenya. LWI-Kenya, headquartered in Nairobi, is now a self-sustaining NGO that is operated entirely by nationals. The drill team is able to take on approximately 20 water projects per year using the one large rig. To date, the office has completed a total of 118 producing wells, each serving an average of 5,000 people and their livestock. While most wells are drilled to serve residential comunities, others have been placed at hospitals, orphanages, and schools.
An example of one of these is a well drilled in 1998 at Oloolasier High School for the Maasai tribe near Nairobi. This project demonstrates impressive results from a one-time expenditure of approximately $30,000. Excess water generates income for the school and provides a dependable source of reasonably priced water for surrounding communities. The school, which was 2.8 million shillings in debt with no hope of financial sustainability prior to the well, has completely retired its debt. Now, the school can provide scholarships that enable students to graduate regardless financial hardship. Last year, 25 percent of its graduates entered higher education programs. The school has added new classrooms and a $100,000 science laboratory. Upon inspecting the facilities, the U.S. Ambassador noted that the lab was the best he had seen in Kenya and praised the multifaceted results of LWIs cost-effective work.