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The Search for Water

Life is tough in Northern Kenya. The Samburu and Turkana herding tribes share the dry desert with other nomadic tribes. Kenya is divided into districts, with the poorest of them being the Turkana, in which 10 million people live, about a quarter of the residents of Kenya. Most of the Turkana tribe are nomadic shepherds who are dependent on the meager pasture and drying wells. Aggressive neighboring tribes are encroaching on their territory, making periodic raids to steal livestock.

The good news is that the government of Kenya, in partnership with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), has recently announced the discovery of a new reservoir of water that can provide all of Kenya for the next 70 years! They estimate that the underground aquifer holds about 200 billion cubic meters of water, located in the Turkana and Lotikipi regions.

Today all of Kenya uses about three billion cubic meters of water per year. The newly discovered aquifers can provide an additional two billion cubic meters per year, meaning a 60% increase over the currently available supply. This water can alleviate the stark living conditions for people in the region, one of the harshest in the world.

The government will need to help the people realize that this water supply can also be a source of income for the impoverished region. They can use the water to raise crops for export. However, for these nomadic tribes, the shift to an agricultural lifestyle will be a rough transition, one that they may not be prepared to accept.

Similar to the discovery of water in Kenya, the Land of Israel is soon to experience an overabundance of water. Our prophets describe a time when water will flow in the streets of Jerusalem: “And the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt” (Amos 9:10), and “For water has broken out in the desert and streams in the plain” (Isaiah 35:6).

And this is just from a physical perspective. The real transformation will be on the spiritual plane: our spiritual thirst from which we suffered since we were expelled from the Garden of Eden will finally be slaked. “There will be no hunger for bread or thirst for water, only to hear the word of G-d.” Instead of spiritual drought we will be inundated with infinite G-dly light (on an intellectual, emotional and sensory plane) which will break through our limited human intellect, leaving no trace of darkness.

We already have a foretaste of these “wellsprings,” distributed throughout the world—otherwise known as Chabad centers manned by the emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. There is no reason to remain thirsty for another moment. As the prophet (Isaiah 55:1) says, “Anyone who is thirsty—go towards the water!”

 

 


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