Richard Olebe

Stan Roe introduced our speaker and new member of our Club, Richard Olebe.  He said that Richard is a graduate of the University of Nairobi, with a degree in engineering, and has two master's degrees from Stanford.
Richard, who was born and raised in Uganda, came to the U.S. and has worked for the California Department of Water Resources for 25 years and has lived in Carmichael for 35 years. He has been discussing this project for months with our Club's elite coffee clutch group from 7-9 a.m. on Fridays.
Richard started a slide show and outlined the proposed water project in Iyolwa, Uganda. He said a big problem there is the people have contaminated water. Young girls have to walk hours every day to fetch water for their families. This has an effect of keeping them out of school. Also disease is a big problem.
Richard says that collecting water that is contaminated is a problem, and the wells  there are shallow and not deep enough to get to clean water. So what could help their water needs?   Water gravity flow from rivers, but at times the rivers run dry, Dams on the rivers - too expensive, treat water with chemicals, it won't work, and the easiest solution is to drill wells and pump water to  big tanks and then distribute it to different localities. The wells have to be deep enough to get to the clean water, Richard estimates that 5 wells that are 300 ft deep and 3 big water tanks would fit the needs of 10,000 people. And the pumping of the water could be run by solar power.
The results of the water project would be healthier people and the girls could go to school which would greatly benefit the families.
How expensive would the project be?
Richard estimates - Five wells might cost $80,000; Water storage tanks - $80,000; water and distribution lines - $25,000 and spare parts $15,000.
Total $200,000. Richard estimates it will take 3 years for completion. 
How could we fund the project? First get a commitment from our Club to sponsor such a project and allocate 4-5 thousand dollars. Go to other Clubs in our District and hopefully get like commitments and then use matching grants.
One idea also is to ask "friends of friends" in our Facebook pages, to give to our Club foundation for the project.
Richard asked the opinion of the assemblage at the meeting and if there was anyone  opposed to looking into going ahead with the project. There was no one opposed, all were in favor. Richard plans to travel to Uganda (at his own expense) in June and talk to the people in Iyolwa, their Chief and government to iron out details. There will be ongoing cost of maintenance and the community will collect money enough to run the system for 10 years and must be in place before starting. It is an exciting project and probably doable if we put all the pieces together!
As a sweet addition to Richards presentation, we had a guest at the meeting,
Deepak Chabra, M.D. who is a retired Kaiser urologist and friend of Walter Malhoski, M.D.  Deepak has spent some time in Uganda and gave us an overview of the need there. He said that he is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (L.D.S.) and he went on a Mission in Uganda. He said that Lake Victoria is the biggest lake in the world. In Uganda there is the highest birth rate because so many of the children die young. The life expectancy is just 58 and 1/2,  They are in dire need and help for clean water. They are 80% Christian and 20% Muslim. Deepak very much supports the proposed water project.
From left to right: Deepak Chabra, Richard Olebe, John Mangels, and Ray Ward