Maluvyu Village is at the outskirts of Kathonzweni Town which is the administrative headquarter of the entire region. It is a rural community that is peaceful and fairly vegetative with indigenous trees crowding the unoccupied land. Residential homes in this area are a mixture of bricks and grass-thatched homes. The homesteads are very spread out.
People here make a living either as farmers or casual laborers. On an average day, community members wake up at 6 am. The women will go to fetch water and then prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare to go to school. The men go to the farm to get Napier grass for their livestock and also prepare to work for the day. During the day, the women wash the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, wash utensils, and cook for the family.
The community has village elders and "nyumba kumi" council of elders who gather to solve any issues that may arise. Women are known to have their own gatherings for saving and contributing money.
Our main entry point into Maluvyu Community has been the Ngwatanio Ya Utui wa Maluvyu self-help group, which is comprised of 52 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. We have worked with this group for the past three years on water projects to improve access to every household in this community.
For more than 250 people in the community, water access is getting better but there is a need for improvement. The water from the nearest well is salty, meaning it is only suitable for feeding livestock, washing dishes, and farming.
What we can do:
Our main entry point into Maluvyu Community has been the Ngwatanio Ya Utui wa Maluvyu self-help group, which is comprised of 52 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands in feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.
This particular hand-dug well is being built adjacent to this group’s ongoing sand dam project (click here to see), which will supply clean drinking water once it rains. We have supplied the group with the tools needed for excavation. With the guidance of our artisans and mechanics, the excavated well will be cased, sealed with a well pad, and then finished with a new AfriDev pump.
Excavation takes a month or more on average, depending on the nature of the rock beneath. Construction of the well lining and installation of the pump takes 12 days maximum. The well will be lined with a concrete wall including perforations so that once it rains, water will filter in from the sand dam.
This well will be located in Maluvyu Village, and will bring clean water closer to families having to walk long distances for their water.
Ngwatanio Ya Utui wa Maluvyu self-help group and Maluvyu Community have participated in training sessions that teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish in their homes. Taking good care of themselves and their environment will make for a healthy community.
"Our hygiene and sanitation levels have improved tremendously since the WASH training was conducted. Most members are practicing what we were taught; hand washing, water treatment, and compound hygiene," Ruth Mwikali said.
"I did not have a garbage pit before the training but we were taught on its importance and benefits prompting me to implement one in my home. We were also educated on the cost-effective ways of treatment."
The latrines here are cleaned often due to the easy access to water. The hygiene and sanitation levels are highly maintained with all the visited homesteads having tippy taps and washing agents installed nearby the latrines. The latrines are cleaned very well with water and soap. For the ones which have mud pit floor latrines are sprinkled with ash.
They, however, need a follow-up training on soap making and water treatment because some reported to still be drinking the water directly. This is dangerous as they may be exposed to risks of contracting waterborne diseases.