The Kisangaji Project - A village that will steal your heart!

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     Kisangaji Village: A Mbugwe Tribe
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Kisangaji Village: A Mbugwe Tribe

Kisangaji is fortunate to be in the Rift Valley where the spring waters on the very edge of the village supply their main crop: rice. Avacado, banana, and mango trees also grow in the area. However, due to the remoteness of Kisangaji itself is generally remote and there is little commerce in the village and villagers must then be nearly self-sufficient.  The main mode of transportation is walking and access to medical clinics or general commerce is difficult. The nearest large town is Babti, an hour away by vehicle. The village Magugu is 15 km away and has some infrastructure and commerce.

The Kisangaji Project - bomaMost people in the village live off their land and what the land produces. Many people have chickens, goats, and cows. Depending on one’s financial means, a typical villager has one structure on their property that is the main home. If you have the means, you will have a separate structure for the livestock, the kitchen, and storage. However, many villagers only have one structure on the property that serves as the living quarters, kitchen, and livestock stalls at night. During the day, the men tend to the livestock and home maintenance; the women look after firewood for the kitchen, meals and attending some day-markets. Everyone works in the rice and maize fields.

The Kisangaji Project - wellThe village is spread out over about a 9-mile radius and has 2 water wells. One is a traditional well that is a hand-dug hole in the ground which collects rainwater. Buckets are lowered into it to obtain drinking and cooking water. This well is frequently dry, dependant on the weather. The other well is a drill-dug hand pumped well that is deep and produces consistent alkaline water for needs. Villagers walk to the wells daily with large buckets or containers to collect the water needed for the day. Some villagers have bicycles to help transport the water containers; others do not.

One of the leading causes of death in the region is Malaria. Malaria is a disease that is spread by the mosquito-bite. While it is both treatable and preventable, most villagers do not have the means to protect themselves sufficiently, or, if infected, obtain the necessary medical attention due to cost. Many villagers utilize bed-nets to limit exposure to mosquitoes at night, but not everyone has them in their homes. Parents will give the bednets to the children to keep them safe and forgo their own health. Many of the bednets are in poor condition: most have holes in them or are not secured in such a way as to maximize their effectiveness. There is a travelling doctor who comes to the village once a month; the nearest medical clinic is in Magugu. However, in order to receive assistance at the medical clinic, one must have the financial means to pay for services. Many villagers do not have the money for this so they use traditional medicine to treat illnesses.