About Dago Village
Dago is a small rural village situated in Western Kenya in Nyanza Province. It is made up of mostly clay and mud homes with grass or corrugated metal roofs. There is no electricity or running water in Dago. A select few have solar panels, but the majority of the residents relies on paraffin lanterns or uses nothing at all. Water sources include the river and a small bore hole located near an orphanage. Bathing and laundry are done at these two sources and children make several trips each day to fill their containers for cooking and drinking. Approximately five percent of the homes have pit latrines, while the remainder of the homes simply uses the fields as their restroom.
The population of Dago is approximately 3,000 and the majority of the villagers are peasant farmers. Maize and sugarcane are primary crops. Also grown in home gardens are kale, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. A few families have cows for milk, goats for slaughter, and chickens for slaughter and eggs.
Most of the villagers in Dago are Luo, the third largest tribe in Kenya. Although English and Kiswahili are the official languages of Kenya, most residents of Dago speak Luo, the “mother tongue”. Very few residents speak English, although it is being taught in school. The majority of the villagers in Dago are Christian, however some indigenous spiritual practices continue.
Kenya has seen great success in their HIV response, yet recent estimates report the number of people living with HIV in the country at 1.2 million, with an estimated 76,300 new HIV infections last year. This national epidemic has left hundreds of thousands of orphans, as is grossly evident in Dago Village. It is difficult, if not impossible, to find a household in Dago that has not been affected by HIV/AIDS.