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The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Community Members At The Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Drinking From The New Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Filling Up At The New Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Filling Up Container At The Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Pumping The Completed Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Eunice Makasi
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Mwendwa Maithya
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Mwendwa Maithya
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Construction Materials
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Digging
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Eunice Makasi
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Training Posters
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Training
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Shg Members Work At The Construction Site
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Mutiso Kondo
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Building The Well Walls
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Hole For Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Mason Builds Well Walls
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Filling Container With Water
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Lifting Water Container After Filling
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Lifting Water Out Of Unprotected Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Lucia Musili
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Pouring Water From Scoop Hole Into Container
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Scooping Water
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Unprotected Dug Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Mbuili Mutisya
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Compound
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Compound
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Cooking
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Fetching Water From Storage Container
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Kitchen Building
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Livestock Pen
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Standing In Kitchen
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Walking Into Kitchen
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Latrine
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Filling Bucket Down Open Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community A -  Collecting Water From Unprotected Well

Project Status



Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Nzimba is found on the slopes of the Mumoni hills in Mumoni sub-county, Kitui County.

On an average day for the community members in this region, the women and children wake up at 6:00 am, go to fetch water, prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare to go to school. The man, on the other hand, wakes up to go to the farm to get Napier grass for the livestock and also prepare to run his errands. During the day, the woman goes for water fetching, washes the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, washes utensils and prepares lunch as well as supper for the family.

But without nearby access to a reliable water source, most days are not average in Nzimba. The water source was found on a seasonal river channel more than 3 km from the nearest household. People spend more than 2 hours just to travel to the river, fetch water, and travel home.

For Lucia Musili, a farmer who lives in the community, it means waking up at 4:30 am each day to go and get water.

“It has not been easy taking the long walks in the darkness. This has derailed my personal development as most of the time is spent searching for water,” she said.

The river water is an open-source which is accessible to animals and wildlife, it remains exposed to many contaminants all the time. For most of the year, people have to dig holes in the dry riverbed to get the water that is stored in the ground. Some members also visit the source to fetch water using donkeys to help them carry multiple containers. Their presence also further contaminates the water.

“I have suffered from typhoid as a result of using water which is not safe for human consumption,” said Mbuli Mutisya, a farmer who also travels the long distance to the river.

The lack of water contributes to other problems. The hygiene and sanitation levels within this community are below average, there is poor water handling, no proper waste disposal through the use of garbage pits and the available latrines demonstrate poor cleanliness standards. Many of these challenges are connected to the lack of water available nearby.

Reliable Water for Nzimba

Our main entry point into Nzimba Community has been the Kasilu Self-Help Group, which is comprised of households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Hand-Dug Well</h3>
This particular hand-dug well will be built adjacent to a sand dam project, 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 Nzimba Village and will bring clean water closer to families.

New Knowledge

These community members currently do their best to practice good hygiene and sanitation, but their severe lack of water has been a big hindrance to reaching their fullest potential.

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with the Kasilu Self-Help Group and other community members to teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish at the personal, household, and community level. This training will help to ensure that participants have the knowledge they need to make the most out of their new water point as soon as water is flowing.

One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

We and the community strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help to unlock the potential for these community members to live better, healthier lives.

We typically work with self-help groups for 3 to 5 years on multiple water projects. We will conduct follow-up visits and refresher trainings during this period and remain in contact with the group after all of the projects are completed to support their efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene.

Project Updates


06/26/2020: Nzimba Community hand-dug well complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

Nzimba Community, Kenya, now has a new source of water, thanks to your donation. A hand-dug well was constructed adjacent to a sand dam (go here to check out the dam). The dam was built on the riverbed, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. Recent rains have helped the dam begin to build up sand and store water.

It could take up to 3 years of rain (because sometimes it only rains once a year!) for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity. As the sand dam matures and stores more sand, a supply of water will be available for drinking from the well. With this water, the surrounding landscape will become lush and fertile.

Hand-Dug Well


Construction for this well was a success!

“I will now be able to access water more easily, and with eased convenience than before. This is because water is now available from within our village without the long walks,” said Eunice Makasi.

Eunice Makasi

We worked with the Kasilu Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project. Also, they were trained on various skills such as bookkeeping, financial management, project management, group dynamics, and governance. We also conducted a hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and to help improve behaviors such as handwashing.

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the group members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure it works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them.

Hand-Dug Well Construction Process

We delivered the experts, materials, and tools, but the community helped get an extraordinary amount of work done too. They collected local materials to supplement the project, including sand, stones, and water.

A hole 7 feet in diameter is excavated up to a recommended depth of 25 feet. (Most hand-dug wells do not reach that depth due to the existence of hard rocks between 10-18 feet).

The diameter shrinks to 5 feet when construction of the hand-dug well lining is completed. This lining is made of brick and mortar with perforations to allow for water to seep through. Sand builds up around the well walls, which will naturally filter the rainwater that is stored behind the dam.

Once the construction of the lining reaches ground level, a precast concrete slab is laid on top and joined to the wall using mortar. 4 bolts for the hand-pump are fixed on the slab during casting. The concrete needs to dry for 2 weeks before the pump is installed.

The mechanics arrive to install the pump as community members watch, learning how to manage simple maintenance tasks for themselves.

The well is then given another few days after installing the pump to allow the joints to dry completely. The pump was installed level with the top of the sand dam. As the dam matures, sand will build-up to the top of the wall. Until then, people will climb the concrete steps to get their water.

“Having water from within our village will be a big boost to my family and me as well as the community at large,” said Mwendwa Maithya, a 56-year-old farmer who lives near the dam.

Mwendwa Maithya

“There will be an adequate supply of clean water for drinking, which will lead to improved hygiene and sanitation levels and also lead to healthy people. The time I initially spent on getting water can now be utilized for other activities such as farming and trade.”

New Knowledge

The area Field officer for Nguuku/Musosya region Stephen Mwangangi in collaboration with Judith Kituta planned for the training and agreed on the best possible dates. After a date was agreed upon, Mr. Mwangangi informed the community leaders who then told all the community members and invited them for the training. The area assistant chief and village elders were also notified and requested for the training.

The trainer conferred with the field staff about their previous visits to households and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community still could improve upon.

They decided to train on topics including health problems in the community, good and bad hygiene behaviors, how diseases spread and their prevention, choosing sanitation improvements; choosing improved hygiene behaviors; planning for behavioral change, handwashing, and soapmaking.

Soapmaking

The training was held at the New Apostolic Church Nzimba. It had enough space to accommodate all attending members, and the environment was conducive for the training. Being a sunny day, everyone enjoyed the training session. The weather was favorable for everyone, and the training turned out to be a success for the community.

Handwashing demonstration

During the discussion on the causes of malaria, some community members cited tsetse flies as the cause. This created a scene of laughter for a majority of the members in attendance. The misunderstanding was corrected and the people were informed that mosquito bites caused malaria and that tsetse flies caused sleeping sickness. This made the topic one of the most memorable.

“The training has been beneficial and quite informative,” said Mutiso Kondo after the training.

“The knowledge on handwashing and construction of a simple tippy tap will lead to improved health levels in our community.”

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya20303-pumping-the-completed-well


05/14/2020: Nzimba Community hand-dug well underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Nzimba, Kenya drains community members’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!


The Water Project : kenya20302-20303-filling-container-with-water


Project Photos


Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.


Contributors

Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation