Giving Update: Shiyunzu Community, Imbukwa Spring

July, 2019

A year ago, you funded a spring protection at Shiyunzu Community in Kenya – creating a life-changing moment for Jackline Akola. Thank you!

Giving Update: Shiyunzu Community, Imbukwa Spring

Since the protection of Imbukwa Spring a little over a year ago, on a recent field visit, we saw how this project has facilitated peace and harmony in Shiyunzu. There was a prevailing sense of unity in the environment and among community members. We learned how much of this unity has grown out of the water user committee for the spring.

The water user committee, which was created during the WaSH training, has created a “merry-go-round style” financial support system. Members go around to households on a cyclical basis to collect fees, which enables the group to maintain the spring. In addition, members of the group are allowed to take out loans from the group on a rotating basis to start a development project of their choice.

For the members of the Imbukwa Spring group, they have collectively chosen vegetable gardening as their development activity. The income generated from the sale of these vegetables has helped improve overall income among members, and in turn, has increased their quality of life.

Jackline (left) and Selfine (right) with another community member

The beneficiaries of Imbukwa Spring shared with us how very grateful they are for the safe, clean water that now flows from Imbukwa Spring. Community members have kept the spring in good shape and in very clean condition. Since protection, the total number of spring users has increased, especially during the most recent dry spell.

Selfine Nanzala, who lives in Shiyunzu, shared with us how this project has positively impacted not just her own life, but the lives of others she knows as well.

Selfine Nanzala

“My life has changed in various ways since the completion of the project. I am drinking clean and safe water which has never [before] been [possible] since I started living in this community,” Selfine explained.

Field Officer Jemmimah with Selfine

“The problems I had of stomach pains and frequent visits to the hospital – I feel [them] no more, just because of the clean water. Hygienically, the environmental and body management skills I received from the training have kept me fit and in shape. I am also able to train others on the same [skills].”

For Jackline Akola, a caretaker in Shiyunzu, the spring protection has brought her so much more than just clean water as well.

“The changes that have been happening [include] reduced numbers of hospital visits, and the women here say that they are enjoying clean water,” Jackline said.

Jackline also said that the children have “no more stomach pains…and again they have peace.”

Flowing water

 

“[Adults have] enough time to take care of themselves” and their children, and kids are doing better in school since their absences due to waterborne illnesses have decreased.

“Community members are doing kitchen gardening which they learned from the training, and [this] is now helping them cater to their food security,” Jackline explained.

The training that was conducted helped especially in management and also in creating unity in the community. From the observations made, no personal washing is done in front of the spring, and even cattle do not graze or drink from the source. The community’s care for Imbukwa Spring is exemplary.

Thumbs up for maintained springs!



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