This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the Church
Deliverance Church Kakamega, also referred to as Christ Celebration Centre, is located at Otiende Estate, Sheywe location, Lurambi Sub-County of Kakamega County. Dr. Reverend Jackson Muttama Wambua and his wife, Pastor Zipporah Wambua, planted the church in 1994. At that time, the church had neither a building or church members to attend. Reverend Wambua and his wife decided to organize a rally at Mulino Gardens, Kakamega. There, they shared the word of God and encouraged the public to believe in Christ Jesus and try attending church. Because of their efforts to share, they managed to recruit a few new members for their church. They then started to rent a place now known as the Franca Hotel. Since then, they've grown and graduated from building to building; they now meet in a pavilion hall and have been there for 12 years. Within that period of time, the church membership has grown so much that they are starting new branches of the church in the Kakamega area.
The church plans on hosting a school within the church compound so as to help the surrounding community. Reverend Wambua says, “We have come from far and God has been faithful to us. Today we have a total population of 1500 members who attend the Sunday service, 700 children and 800 adults!" Apart from the Sunday service, the church is busy with various activities throughout the week. On Mondays, there is a consultation and counseling service in which 50-100 people participate. On Tuesdays, there is a fellowship night which 100-300 people attend.
(Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This church and their community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so that adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
On Wednesdays, there is Bible study which 100-300 people attend. On Thursdays, there is choir practice for the 100 choir members. On Fridays, there is a consultation, counseling, and overnight prayer service that on average draws 500. On Saturdays, there is another choir practice. There is literally something going on every day at this church!
There is piped water into some of the church buildings, but it is extremely unreliable. Weeks can go by without water in the pipes! The institution doesn't have any water storage either. When there is no water in the tap, the entire church lacks water to quench thirst, and no cleaning gets done. If parents don't carry water with them to church, especially on Sundays, the young Sunday School children suffer the most. "I remember the other day we had regional leader’s conference, and we had visitors from [far and wide]. We had a big problem since there was no water and in the process, food was delayed. Some [church] members had to run around in search of water. It was really embarrassing," Reverend Wambua shared.
Sanitation is also a challenge. The only available latrines are two stalls just for women. There is an average of 450 women at church on Sunday! Imagine the lines at these two latrines. The men must cross the street to a neighbor’s latrine. Sometimes when a man has to use the bathroom, he'll find that the generous neighbor is not at home and has the gate locked. When this happens, men have no other choice but to find a private place outside to use the bathroom. This is a huge problem during Friday's overnight prayers. Remember, there's a total of 350 men who are church members!
Children must share the latrines with female adults. Most of the children fear using those latrines because the hole over the pit is so large. A small child could fall inside! The church doesn't have any hand-washing facilities, so there's no way to clean up after using the bathroom. There's often no water to clean the latrines themselves!
There is a huge lack of water to meet both the health needs and sanitary needs of this church community. With a water project here, members will have enough water to drink and to clean their church facility.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
Church members will be trained for a few days on a variety of health, hygiene and sanitation topics. This training will result in church members donning the roles of health workers and water user committee members. The training facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), and ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) methods to teach the committee and health workers on how to best oversee and maintain this project, and also how to promote health in their church and own homes. We are encouraging 16 church members with strong leadership qualities to be part of our training program.
Plans: Hand-Washing Stations
Two hand-washing stations will be delivered and kept near the latrines so that church members have a place to clean up. The water user committee will be responsible for making sure these water barrels are full of water on a daily basis, and that there is always a cleaning agent like soap or ash available. These hand-washing stations come with stands and are fitted with taps, and will be a more permanent solution for the church. We will also train participants on how to improvise more hand-washing stations for the large church population.
Plans: VIP Latrines
Two triple-door VIP (ventilation improved pit) latrines will be constructed, three stalls for each gender. Church members will help gather some of the local materials used in construction, such as sand, stone, and bricks.
With these new latrines, men will no longer have to leave church in search of a place to use the bathroom! The lines at the women's latrines will also be drastically reduced. And with water from the rainwater catchment tank, all of these latrines can be kept clean!
Plans: Rainwater Catchment Tank
A 30,000-liter rainwater catchment tank is planned for this project. Church members will also gather extra materials for this project, and will also lend helping hands to the construction process. After its completion, the water user committee will be primarily responsible for ensuring the tank is kept safe and is well-maintained. Once it rains, the tank can start serving the church community!