By Shadrack Tajeu
After many years of struggle with academics she graduated recently from South Eastern Kenya University. Ms Lucy Enole Mbata has been recognized as the first girl-child and hydraulic engineer at Oldarpoi area, Matapato region. Ms Lucy attended a local primary school, Megumi primary just like any other child in the society. However she has gone through struggles that almost made her to give up in the long academic journey. After she sat KCPE examination in the year 2010 her exemplary performance enabled her to joined Barazani Girls High school.
She however almost dropped out of school due to financial constraints while her struggling parents sold nearlyall their belongings to educate the girl. They had a lot of hope on the young girl who was said to be a disciplined girl in the society.
She did her KCSE in the year 2014 and again with good results she joined South Eastern Kenya University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Hydrology and water Resource Management. This is the branch of science concerned with the properties of earth’s water, and especially its movement in relation to land.
Hydrology deals with the distribution of water resources in both space and time. It is an inter-disciplinary subject which incorporates water resources management and utilization and embraces the scientific understanding of the hydrological (water) cycle as well as the aspects of water distribution on the global scale and impacts of human activities on the water resources.
In the home coming ceremony held at Oldarpoi area which was graced with happy members of the community and various leaders, she was congratulated for her achievement will go a long way in motivating the girl-child.
“Hydrology and water resource management will go a long way in helping the community as it integrates the management of water resources with conservation to afford a sustainable utilization of water resources for human prosperity by integrating aspects of environmental conservation and management,” said Engineer Oruma Ole Nkaru.
Ms Mbata has gone through many challenges within the interior parts of Maasai land but emerged victorious. As she was delivering her speech, she could not hold her tears as she spoke about how tiresome the journey was till the end. She was almost gave up and thought of getting married at an early age since her parents could not afford school fees.
“I will never forget the hard times I went through, but thank to God for making it a success. For a child like me from a humble background, with all the challenges in my society having a bachelor’s degree is a blessing. My parents have been supportive and I pray for them to have long life to reap the fruits with me,” Lucy noted.
“My father encouraged me to work hard. He has been a cook in a nearby school made sure that I don’t lack. He had sleepless nights sometimes thinking about my education which mostly gave him headaches,” she said with tears of joy flowing. Ms. Lucy thanked the community of Oldarpoi/Osilalei area for their support during her studies.
She could not forget that during her third year, second semester in the university the community held a fund drive to support her fulfil the dream.
“I thank members of this area for support and one day I will return my hand in this great community,” she said. This appeared to encourage all parents to educate their children up to the university for a better future in the next generation. Area chief Sadera warned parents that no child should drop out of school after Form Four but they must proceed to instituions of higher learning to pursue careers of their choice.
“Like Lucy every student should strive to come home with a degree of their choice to ensure that our future generation is safe,” Chief Sadera advised. The behaviour of some Form Four leavers getting into early marriages and some engaging in relationships with Boda Boda riders at the expense of learning should be discouraged,Sadera counselled.
The reason why Ms Lucy chose to study Hydrology and water resources management is because she always thought of how a long lasting solution could be found to address water the shortage in her home. She was concerned how members of that community trekked long distances with donkeys to get water for domestic use. It has been a challenge since her childhood at primary school and she had promised that one day God will bless her with big opportunities and she will bring a solution to the menace. “Water is part of human, wildlife and it has always been my concern that one day scarcity of water in this area would turn to be history,” Engineer Lucy said.
She encouraged young students especially girls who are still in high schools with interest to study water engineering to work hard since it is possible to make it.
Since she is the second person to become a hydraulic engineer in Matapato region after Engineer Nkaru, Lucy encouraged students to do water engineering. “Hydraulic engineering is a field within civil engineering discipline that addressed the control and management of water resources. As a hydraulic engineer, I’ll plan and manage the flow and storage of water. I will strive to brainstorm solutions to address future water demands for my area, cities and planning river and coastal flood control projects,” Engineer Lucy added.
Her homecoming party was graced by among others CECM Education Kajiado County Jeremiah Njaro, Hon. Dickson Nkaloyo MCA Matapato North, Wilson Tonkei former Kajiado County Public Service Board Member and Senior Engineer Ole Nkaru who was the Chief Guest. Lucy Mbata was assured that she would secure a job. Mr. Tonkei who was the first to address the gathering urged Lucy to send him, her CV and promise not to rest until the young girl gets a job. It was a testimony for Engineer Lucy to see leaders each promising her to secure employment soon while many graduates are just struggling without jobs all over the country. Engineer Nkaru urged Mr. Tonkei to leave the task for him since he was very happy for the young girl who is the second water engineer after him for over 30years. Ole Nkaru promised the community that Lucy will get a job sooner than expected.
According to research, employment of hydrologists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all other occupations. Demand for the services of hydrologists will stem from increases in human activities such as mining, construction, and hydraulic fracturing. Environmental concerns, especially global climate change and the possibility of sea-level rise in addition to local concerns such as flooding and drought, are likely to increase demand for hydrologists in the future.
Speaking to County Press Lucy said: It is just the favour of God that enabled me to succeed.”