Kenya and Tanzania

Agua Viva is preparing to construct possibly our most challenging installations. These will take place in Kenya and Tanzania, Africa. The construction work and education will be led and performed by a team of In-Country partners. Mbaja Wagomen and Kashindi Charles from Mwanza, Tanzania, will lead the Health & Hygiene Education. Selemani Shabani, from Bunju-A, Tanzania, will lead the installation of the water purification system. Benard Ondiek, at Benard’s Vision Orphanage, has completed preparations of the water room which will house the system in Wacharra.

The equipment was shipped from Kansas City in a container to Chicago, then by rail to Nova Scotia, then by boat to Dubai and then to the port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Woo Hoo 🎉! What a trip!

Recently, Agua Viva purchased 60 beautiful water dispensers for each African installation site. The children were ecstatic to see the bright clean containers and they are looking forward to purified drinking water that will fill them up soon!

Children with boxes containing new water dispensers at Bernard's Vision
Children with boxes containing new water dispensers at Bernard’s Vision

The newly completed water room at Wacharra, Kenya, that will soon house the water purification system. They are planning to paint “Agua Viva” on the big white wall in Luo, which is the native language in that area. It translates to “Pi Ngima”. How cool is that?

Water room at Wacharra, Kenya
Water room at Wacharra, Kenya

Lluvia de Gracias, Guatemala

Agua Viva has new friend named Wily Zapeta! That is what Agua Viva is made of… friendships. Wily has helped Agua Viva sign yet another Covenant this year at Lluvia de Gracias. This church is about 30 minutes away from Quetzaltengo, Guatemala, and they were so excited to hear that they had been selected for an installation THIS YEAR!! Pastor Cesar Amton explained how difficult it is to find purified drinking water, and it is too expensive for the local people to purchase bottled water at the local tienda.

They have already begun Water Room preparations, and two of our FEARLESS volunteers, yet to be selected, will fly the suitcases to Guatemala, CoVid and all! Agua Viva is very pleased to have such wonderful friends and the need is so great in this area for purified drinking water.

San Gerardo, Ecuador

In September 2019, during the install week of Galte’s system in Ecuador, Agua Viva had the opportunity to visit the school of San Gerardo. This school was brought to our attention by the Director of the Water Laboratory of San Gerardo’s parent city government.
It’s a community that’s literally close to Mario Ahkras’s home, about 10 minutes by bus from his hometown. This helped us work closely with the School during the preparations of the water room.

After testing the water samples that were shipped out to the United States, San Gerardo was blessed with the chance to receive their own water purification system. A system was installed in April 2021, even as the international travel restrictions (resulting from the pandemic) were peaking.

This was Mario’s first time leading an install, and he anticipated challenges during the installation week. As it turned out, the biggest challenge would in fact be the sheer patience required to get the equipment through customs.

The Water System suitcases wound up being delayed almost two months because of a clerical error made by customs. In short, this added only a handful of extra steps during clearance, but each and every step required more time and approvals!! Unfortunately, every step added several days and even weeks of waiting. And, to add salt to the wound, Agua Viva had to pay a fine. Ouch!

But, it was all SO worthwhile, when we inaugurated the San Gerardo Wate, joined by the political leaders of the community and state, who helped us all along the way. The actual week of the installation went very smoothly because of how well prepared everything was in the crate. And we just had ONE leak….or, maybe two!

Assembly of God Feeding Center, Guapinol, Honduras

The Assembly of God Feeding Center in Guapinol, Honduras is a quant fishing village not far for the Pacific Coast.  In communities like this, they work hard and their health is paramount to survival.  Having a good source of purified drinking water enables the community to be more productive and keeps the children in school.

This very poor community has never had access to purified drinking water.  Our new Operating Partners were excited to get started bottling water and distributing water to the surrounding community.

We are now happy to report that the AOGFC is reporting a high water production. After a short time of operations, Pastor Ilmo called requesting more bottler caps and seals. That represents 1,200 bottles in only 3 months. Agua Viva is so pleased that we can do this much good in their community.

In the next couple of weeks, Rigo Rigoberto will performing two additional Site Investigations in the southern part of Honduras; not very far from Guapinol.

St. Anne’s School for Women

In an area called Kapkemich, Kenya, there is a Catholic Girls School called St. Anne’s School for Girls.

Kapkemich, a rural community in western Kenya, is located near the equator where much of the population lives in poverty surviving on subsistence farming.  The weather is mild with temperatures ranging from mid-50s to mid-90s F with two rainy seasons.  There is minimal or no electricity in homes.  Running water is not available and many obtain water from potentially polluted sources.  Job opportunities have long been bleak in the area and this lack of work has had great social impact. Alcoholism and drug addiction are major concerns.  Education beyond the 8th grade is not funded fully by the government; families are expected to pay part of the cost which many cannot afford.  In such cases, families choose to educate their sons rather than their daughters. 

Friends of St. Anne’s Girls’ School Fund-Kenya (FOSA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit was established in 2010 to support equal education opportunities in Kapkemich, Kenya and the surrounding area with the primary focus on educating young women.  The FOSA board of directors in collaboration with our management team in Kapkemich recognized that the area was medically under-served.  Thanks to a generous, designated donation in 2016, FOSA funded construction of a clinic building. The clinic applied for and received community-based organization (CBO) status from the Kenyan government in March 2017.  The clinic opened in July 2017 and provides care 24/7.  The Virginia Wright Health Clinic Fund (VWHC Fund) was designated a 501(c)(3) in the United States in May 2019 and supports the clinic’s mission.

With the help of our new friends in the United States (Ruth Schukman-Dakotas and Abby Clem-Beeman), Agua Viva has had the privilege of executing a Covenant, signed and sealed by Father Anthony Kiplagat, to provide Purified Drinking Water to this community. Our In-Country Coordinator, Mbaja Wagome Minene, made the 12 hour trip from Mwanza, Tanzania, to Kapkemich, Kenya, and met with Ms. Lydia Kageha, Public Health Outreach Coordinator, and discussed “possibilities and dreams”.

This community was a perfect match. Serving a large number of women with emphasis on Health and Hygiene, and in a very large community with NO access to purified drinking water, Agua Viva will provide a golden opportunity for improved health and a new potential source of income for these wonderful women!

Benard’s Vision Orphanage, School, and Medical Center, Wacharra, Kenya

This project has been only a dream for five years. At the conclusion of our water installation at Tanzania, our team of professionals left for Wacharra, Kenya, to install a new Water Purification System at Benard’s Vision Orphanage, School, and Medical Center. After a few hiccups at the border and several hundred dollars lighter, our team arrived in Wacharra, Kenya, and began the installation.

It was a great blessing to have four local widows join our Education Team. It is a struggle for widows in Kenya. Few women can find paying jobs, so if they are widowed, it is very difficult for them to buy food, water, shelter, and the basic necessities of life. Agua Viva is providing a great opportunity for these women to sell water and sustain themselves and their families, as well as the community.

Our team had a few challenges, but they were able to have the system up and operating by Saturday, just in time for a huge celebration. “The water tastes SOOOO good!”, said Pastor Ondiek. The next day, Pastor Onkeik was off to Nairobi to begin the process of getting a permit from Kenya to sell water, and to sustain the operation.

Pastor Ondiek told me yesterday, that the Wacharra Orphanage is also providing purified drinking water to the Ahero site also!! Now, Agua Viva is serving TWO orphanages in Kenya!! A real live testament to the great opportunity for clean drinking water in Kenya.

Nyasaka Free Methodist Church, Mwanza, Tanzania

At the Nyasaka Free Methodist Church, in Mwanza, Tanzania, our friends completed the last step of a lengthy project, which began before CoVid 19. First step started in May of 2019, and included digging their existing well 30 feet deeper, from 40 feet deep to 70 feet. Second step was a full-blown installation of a multi-stage sand filter. The last and final step, completed July 31, 2021, was a full LWftW Standard Board and, of course, a huge Celebration with the local officials, the community, and our new Church friends.

We are so proud of our new friends in Africa. The Agua Viva water committee at Nyasaka has taken charge of strategies to distribute and sell water. They are so awesome: Yusuph Emmanuel Sabato, Kashindi Charles, Seth Mlenda, Pastor Yessee Mlongecha, and Pastor Joshua Miyumo. With this great leadership, our hope is that the Agua Viva System will provide purified drinking water for years to come!


Over the summer, Agua Viva supported a local non-profit, Green Works in Kansas City, by bringing our water filtration demo board to their ECO Career Camp. In the post-camp survey, the water filtration board was a unanimous top favorite hands-on activity!

Led by one of our own Agua Viva International members, Desiree Smith, the educational camp focused on exploring green careers related to Water Quality and Climate Resiliency. For one full week, 14 middle schoolers made invaluable connections and dove deep into climate conversations, while exploring and recognizing their own passions and interests, and how they can be a part of the solution.

The students traveled to the Missouri River to learn where KC gets our drinking water, performed their own water testing, and got to see behind the scenes at KC Water’s Sante Fe Pump Site. Other field trips included seeing energy efficiency in action at Metropolitan Energy Center, the solar fields at Evergy’s mixed source energy plant, water catchment at a local community garden, and many many more insightful and inspiring guest speakers.

Transporting the filtration board is no small feat and this was made possible with the help of the dedicated, big-hearted volunteers, Daryl Taylor and Jerry Johnson. The opportunity to see water filtration in action was key in helping these concepts really sink in for students. Being able to take pressure and flow readings, actually holding valves and different piping components, while sprinkling in water conversations made for a fun, impactful activity. For example, after identifying the size of our 1” pipe on the board, the students stretched a tape measure 10 feet across the room to represent the size of one of the city water pipes that they had learned about the day before at the KC Water Pump Site.

A BIG THANK YOU to Agua Viva for helping instill the importance of water quality and how water connects us all!

Thank you!

Many thanks to all of our friends and supporters who came together to make such a wonderful Celebration to benefit Agua Viva International on Thursday, November 21, 2019. This was truly a “night to remember”. Your commitment and dedication will help thousands of orphans, widows, and children have pure clean ozonated drinking water for the first time in their life.

Refleciones de Moises; Journies to Africa

Refleciones de Moises
Journey to Africa
May 2019

Today, we started another amazing journey to Africa! Nathan Dunahee and Mike Kristancic and I started our leg of travel: Seattle. Our flight leaves for Dubai in 4 hours: Ojala! Many orphans are waiting for, hoping for, and praying for Clean Ozonated Water.

Day 1: We are almost done with second flight; 7,065 miles, 563 mph. We land in Dubai in 1 hour. Spent a fair amount of that time strategizing with Nathan Dunahee (Agape Pamoja) about future plans in the Mwanza Area of Tanzania; Strategic Relationships, African Culture, Expectations, Relationships, Resources, and our Partnership. Agape Pamoja has an abundance of young and very talented friends who will prove invaluable to our efforts to bring Pure Cl     ean Ozonated Water to our new friends in Kenya and Tanzania.

Day 2: Last night, we completed the second 13.5 hour leg of our flight to Dubai, UAE. We arrived in time for a tour of the world’s tallest building, world’s tallest hotel, and UAE largest mosque. Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Bentley’s, Rolls Royce…. This is the World of Flesh. Stark contrast to our destination. Tomorrow, we start the last of 3 legs to Dar es Salaam. Our friends are waiting and praying for us.

Day 3: We have arrived in Zinga. It is raining cats and dogs! Got the grand tour of this incredible hospital first thing where the NICU and Birthing center will soon be complete. The water system is working great. 16,777 gallons on the water meter, or about 150 – 5 gallons per month. System ozonating and everyone loves the water! Sele gets back tonight from Arusha for more training!

Day four: Woke up at dawn to the sounds, barks, yells, and calls of African wild animals and birds (and more rain). Wow! What has God created here? We also woke up to a complete Power Loss. Today, I am doing training with four new operators on the water system, changing filters, shocking the system, and stocking up on water bottle caps and seals. Sele got back last night at 7:00 PM and left for Dar es Salaam. I guess we will go with the flow.

Day 5: Today we started training four new operators at the IHP Hospital in Zinga, Tanzania. They were like kids in a candy store: eager to learn, lots of questions! Changed the filters, shocked the system, and made a list of needed parts. The flow meter had failed and we had forgotten to put a sight glass in their system. No problem, coming right up. Already bottling 140 bottles a month, and the birthing center and neo-natal care center hasn’t even opened yet. Had a great time visiting with friends. After training we talked to Selemani Shabani about an install at his 1,500 member Church!! Then, Nathan tried to spear some snakes with the Massai!

Day 6: After a full day of travel, we arrived in Wacharra, Kenya. So many needs! 40 bunk beds, 400 chickens, teacher salaries, food…. Bernard’s Vision Orphanage has a lot of needs and a lot of beauty at the same time. Everyone is SO nice! So glad to see us! The children are so beautiful. The children sang for us, orated poems for us, and danced for us. We have to fit “WATER” into our schedule someplace. Benard’s family welcomed us and we went right to work. Lots of mosquitos! And Highland Malaria!

Day 7: This day we signed a covenant with Benard Ondiek Orphanage, School, and Medical Center, to return next year to install a full Agua Viva Water Purification System! They are so happy! I am not quite sure how we are going to get it done, but God has blessed us and commanded us to help these people… and we shall! This will be our first install on n Kenya! Next thing, flat tire on the road!!

Day 8: After signing a covenant, we left the next morning for Tanzania. Our 5 hour journey, in a very crowded car, took 12 hours. The worst roads I have ever seen! It took almost two hours to get through the border.. very bad idea. We drove through the Serengeti, and it was very plain to see how desperate these people are for water. Women everywhere walking miles with 5 gallon open buckets of water in their head!

Day 9: I must say, it is a miracle that Mike Kristancic and Nathan Dunahee were able to accompany me to Africa. These guys are great servants of God. Mike (aka pointer) is patient and steady as a rock, a real man of God. Nathan (aka sniffer) is a motivator and adventurous, and water is his specialty. At this point in our trip it has become very apparent that each are contributing in there own God honored special way. It certainly has taken a village. Thank you Jesus, that you chosen these two men to accompany me to the wonderful world of Africa!

Day 10: Mwanza Tanzania. I was surprised how nice it was. Quite clean… Functioning… Busy… I immediately liked this place. Sele (our friend from Zinga) says “Can we stop by my property!” “You have property in Mwanza???” In fact, it is right on the way. Wow!! Two miracles in one day???

Day 11: Pay Dirt… We arrived in Mwanza and headed straight to the Free Methodist Church of Tanzania (FMCT) where the National Leader and Superintendent, the Reverend Mlongecha Yesse, greeted us and introduced us to their Mwanza Water Committee. They already had 6 appointments at various sites for our teams to visit! They need clean water in this community badly and they already have a well and a spacious room to put the Water System in. We got checked in to our Hotel Malaika and got ready for a full day of site visits and water testing. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. Our committee, Mbaja Wagome, Adam Prosper, Yusuph Sabato Emmanuel, Kashindi Charles Selemani (our new Chemist), and Sethi Mlenda Ualenga have provided a great service to by preparing the way and doing their homework. This has greatly increased our chances of working in Mwanza, Tanzania… these people are amazing!

Day 12: Our next visit was the African Inland Church (AIC) Igombe, established 1689. As God would have it, Benard Ondiek is a bishop of the AIC in Kenya. Over 1,000 children swamped us as we arrived. High fives and smiles everywhere as we were welcomed like heroes. After our speeches to the masses, they escorted us to Lake Victoria. These children drink untreated water directly from this lake. Of course we took a water sample. They scoop this water up into yellow cooking oil containers and carry it about 1/4 mile to the village. “Please install a purification system in our poor village!” The next hour we discussed and prayed about how we could accomplish that with Reverend Mashona!

Day 13: It was hard leaving Ngombe, but the next site also shows great promise! We arrived in Kayenza where we were greeted by another African Inland Church of 360 members. The Reverend Onesmo Mkama called a community meeting. This community of 6,000 indigenous Sukuma Tribesmen is right on Lake Victoria also. We are anxious to see the water test results. A few people mentioned excess fluoride in the water… I hope not. We can’t filtrate flouride. This is definitely a fishing village. They dry the little sardines right in the beach! How cool is that… uh, do NOT eat them!

Day 14: Leaving Kayenza, we drove two hours north to the Magu District. Another Africa Inland Church, we were welcomed by Evangelist John Enosh Malila and a host of villagers with water (don’t drink it) and white sweet potato (don’t eat it). These were the nicest people yet and most in need. This is a very remote but large village. In 10 seconds, Nathan had a baby sitting on his lap and a friend forever. Hey, let’s stop for a COKE!!

Day 15: The next village was also in the Magu area. This Church is a Shamah Church in the village of Mashineni. They have 130 members and the village is about 2 kilometers from a river called Semeyu. We met for quite some time and talked about possible ways Agua Viva could partner with this community.

Day 16: Our last site investigation was in Busisi. This small community already has a nice well… about 50 feet deep with a hand pump. The community leader met with us and we agreed to help them size an electric submersible pump. We had to take a ferry to cross the bay and we watched women (never men) scoop up 5 gallon jugs of water and start the 5 mile trek to their village… UP HILL.

Day 17: We finished all our site investigations… WOW! A lot to think about. We are so thankful for the Water Committee: Sethi, Mbaja, Adam, Kishindi, and Yusuph! They did such a great job, making us successful. And, the National Director Yessi never left our side. It didn’t take long for us to make our decision. We drafted a covenant to return next year to install a Water Purification System at the NYASAKA FREE METHODIST CHURCH MWANZA. We explained the program and the team all joyfully signed the covenant! We have a few issues to iron out but this Water Team is amazing, and with God’s help, they will be ready. Thank You, Jesus. Agua Viva will need to raise more money this year than ever before… Cause We Are Going Places!!!

Day 18: During this trip I personally counted 14 miracles. Things that literally had to be a result of the hands of the Almighty God. So many good things happened. We met so many good Christian Brothers and Sisters. Surely, God will continue to bless our efforts with these people! We will need to raise more money. We will face many challenges. It will not be comfortable. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10…. these trips will sure make a believer out of you!