Mbindi Self-Help Group is made up of farmers who united to address water and food shortages in their region. We've come alongside them to give them the support and tools they've needed, and they've already completed two clean water systems in Mbindi Village. Now, they're looking to improve living standards for their neighbors in Kathuni.
The group was formed in 2015 with a membership of 27 people; 12 males and 15 females. Their home of Mbindi has a population of 832. The average age of members is 47, and the average household size is seven. The majority of members, since farmers, rely on agriculture as their main source of income.
The main sources of water for the area are two sand dam and well systems we've built in Mbindi. But with a region of about 1,500 people relying on them, the systems get extremely busy at times. Furthermore, both are still far away from many families living on the other side of the village.
Those who don't have the time or who are farther away fetch their water from open sources. These are completely open to contamination, and users still suffer from waterborne diseases. That's why Mbindi Self-Help Group is continuing its partnership with us to install even more clean water systems in different areas.
Having a usable pit latrine has always been important for people living in Mbindi; when we got there, we found 100% coverage. Instead, weaknesses were discovered in areas like hand-washing (less than half of families have a dedicated place for personal hygiene), and bathing. There has been some improvement since our first trainings, though. For example, everyone now has a pit for proper waste disposal.
Here's what we're going to do:
We will continue to focus on daily habits that are difficult to monitor. Though we can check up on households to see how clean they are, we're not able to observe daily water treatment, personal hygiene, and food preparation. We'll check in with community members' knowledge of the proper practices and review them together.
Building this sand dam at a spot further down the river will bring water closer to hundreds of other people. Mbindi Self-Help Group chose a construction site in neighboring Kathuni Community, and our team confirmed the viability of a sand dam by finding a good foundation of bedrock.
We are unified with this community to address the water shortage. As more sand dams are built, the environment will continue to transform. As the sand dams mature and build up more sand, the water tables will rise. Along with these sand dams, hand-dug wells (check out the hand-dug well being installed next to this dam) will be installed to give locals a good, safe way to access that water.
With these projects, clean water will be brought closer to hundreds living around Mbindi and Kathuni.
This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.