Friday, 8 May 2009

A Kickstart!

(Ben Parkinson)
A fast plane to Nairobi and Ceris and I stepped onto Kenyan soil for the first time on Wednesday at daybreak. Long-suffering theatre company Repacted ( had been up at 3, to ensure we were met at the airport and we were picked up in a Scooby Doo-style minibus to bring us firstly to our appointment with Kickstart International.

Kickstart, as some may know, are a wonderful global organisation whose vision is to create optimum technologies for rural dwellers in Africa and elsewhere. My links with them had been in 2007/8, when I was working with Nehemiah Foundation International ( to create a conduit for their cost effective waterpumps in Northern Nigeria. SEA has been unsuccessful to date at creating this link and I was hoping to rejuvenate links with Kickstart as well as put again the case for investing effort into Northern Nigeria by Kickstart. Liddon Muturi was the perfect host at Kickstart, demonstrating the two pumps to me once more and advising that a Mark 3 version is around the corner! I look forward to some good news for Nigeria that these pumps can start to become readily available in rural Nigeria in the future. SEA will do all it can to make this happen.

Nairobi was dark an thundery (rainy season) and we did not hang around too long - perhaps I will be able to return later on in the trip. James Karongo from Aphia II - the massive FHI-administered programme for HIV/AIDS prevention (and other things) welcomed us with Collins Oduori and Dennis Kimambo of Repacted. We were promised the road from Nairobi to Nakuru would be smooth and it was until we reached a truckstop, where several of the Matutu (?) buses were parked up. It seems the Police were checking all the Matatus (Police stops have very frequent so far) and we were held up a couple of hours, eventually making it into Nakuru by late afternoon. The Driver took a "short cut" through the Masai plains area - warthogs/zebras but no lions - where the road was more like a rocky mountain path, but we made it, with the bus shock absorbers mostly intact.

Next blog will be our time with Repacted and possibly some future plans...

Many thanks to those posting on the blog - I'll do my best to respond on a future comment - time is limited today, as the net got cut mid-----

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