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Sanitation Saved My Husband

March, 2015

“I thank The Water Project and WEWASAFO for saving my husband from death.”

Joram Kisanji, a 91 year old man, is one of the sanitation platform (sanplat) beneficiaries under the Water and Sanitation (WASH) project implemented by WEWASAFO and funded by The Water Project.

He is married to Mary Kisanji. They have been blessed with 3 children (1 boy and 2 girls), 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. They live in Lubao village, within Kakamega County.

WEWASAFO has been protecting springs in the communities within Kakamega County. For every spring protected, five people in the surrounding community of the spring that are vulnerable, such as orphans, elderly, widows, people with HIV/AIDS and people living with disabilities, are given priority to benefit from the project by receiving a sanplat. Joram Kisanji was selected as one of the sanitation beneficiaries for the Bweseleste Spring as he and his wife are not only elderly but also he is blind.

“I thank The Water Project and WEWASAFO for saving my husband from death. One day when he had gone to help himself in the old latrine, it almost collapsed on him.” remarked Mary Kisanji the wife of Joram Kisanji. Since the husband was blind, he couldn’t find his way around when the wife was not there and one day he felt pressed to go to the toilet. Since his wife was away, he decided to try going to the toilet on his own. He accidentally fell into the deep latrine pit, as he could not position himself on the logs properly. When his wife came back in the evening she looked for him and could not find him and when she went to relieve herself in the toilet she found that he had fallen in the toilet.

As we were invited into Joram’s home, he shared with us a brief history of his long life. He worked in the Army as a Corporal for 4 years and 9 months during World War I in Arabia. The effect of tear gas and gunshots affected his eyes. He suffered partial blindness in year 1999 and in the year 2000 he suffered total blindness. He also worked as a cook for a British colonialist between 1933 and 1980. This was evident with the fluent English he spoke.

“Without Mary I would have died in that old toilet one day. Thanks to her for saving my life and thanks to you for the good toilet that you have built for me. Now I can access it without worry.” He was coughing frequently during our time with him and we soon learned that he had a large painful swelling on his back that caused him difficulties in breathing and a lot of coughing. WEWASAFO recorded this information and will notify the social services department of WEWASAFO so that they might assist him in finding help for his unidentified illness.

As he bid fare well to us, on a lighter note he joked by saying, “Next time when you come, kindly bring me a gift of shoes or clothes, and God bless you all as you undertake the community work.”



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