I’m sure local politics can be difficult to maneuver all over the world, but it’s particularly challenging in Kenya. Here local officials wield huge amounts of power, and one person can stop a project dead in its tracks. Fortunately, if you make a strong case (or know the right people), they can also shepherd a project swiftly through the system.
Today I used a friend of a friend of a friend to land a meeting with a District Officer in Nairobi. A District Officer is fairly high up in the local food chain, and I pitched him the water kiosk concept. I was delighted at how quickly he embraced the idea, and he asked if I could come back on Monday to meet with several other government officials. Assuming that meeting goes well, we’ll pitch the kiosk model at a formal committee meeting where the project will hopefully receive the official governmental go ahead.
The person who introduced me to the District Official is a great community leader who runs a micro-finance branch. He is also the chairman of a local community organization that runs a health clinic and several other programs. I feel very lucky to have found him, as he’s working with me very closely to gather allies and navigate the political process. I’ll update this post later with a picture of him and the clinic this weekend.
Definitely stay tuned for an update on Monday’s meeting. Also, make sure you check in for some fascinating stories about Maasai culture this weekend.