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The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Agnes Mwanziu Mbusya
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Agnes Stands Amid Her Growing Maize
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Animal Pen
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Clothes Hang To Dry
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Dirty Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Group Members
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Latrines
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Returning Home With Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Scoop Hole Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Woman Carrying Water

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 132 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Tulimani community members fetch water at River Kamulo, located less than two kilometers away from the village.  Scoop holes are dug in the riverbed in a bid to access water. The 132 people here have to dig deep scoop holes to reach the water.

Very deep.

The water that is gathered is often very salty and very dirty. The river only flows during the rainy season and dries up completely after the rain ceases. When the river runs dry, people then resort to walking to River Tyaa which is five kilometers away from the community – just to collect equally unsafe water.

The River Tyaa is very far from their community. One has to wake up very early to get to this source. It takes them more than two hours to get there on foot and the queues at the source can force one to wait for a whole day to fetch water. The source is often overcrowded.

Some of these members do not own donkeys, so fetching water from the River Tyaa is exhausting since they have to sometimes make multiple trips to get sufficient water for their household consumption.

During the drought seasons, families lose a lot of their livestock to hunger because they are incapable of sustaining both their needs and those of their domestic animals. Buying water from a local vendor is another option but it is costly and that water is not safe for drinking either.

As a result of these problems, waterborne diseases are rampant. Typhoid and amoeba are the most reported diseases. The expenses incurred on treatment are often too expensive for families to afford.

One person affected by these challenges is Agnes Mbusya, a 61-year-old farmer who cares for two children with disabilities.

She shared her experience with us:

“Personally, I do not have a donkey so the task of fetching water can be really hectic. I have two disabled children living with me and I have to take care of them and ensure they eat, they wear clean clothes, and also bathe. Hence, most of my money ends up being spent on paying vendors to deliver the water jerrycans to my home. If I decide to fetch the water for myself, I have to wake up very early to go to the water source before my children wake up. It is usually very exhausting carrying jerrycans of water – one on my back and the other with my hand as I try to kill two birds with one stone. I once tripped and fell, hurting my ankle in the errands of fetching the water. Attaining clean water is never a guarantee. So, we drink the water as it is.”

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Tulimani Community has been the Kamulo Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 32 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. On average, we work with a self-help group for five years. So, this is just the beginning of our partnership with this group! These members will be our hands in feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Sand Dam

After the community picked the spot, our technical team went in and proved the viability by finding a good foundation of bedrock. Now, our engineers are busy drawing up the blueprints. We estimate the dam will be 25.2 meters long and 4.55 meters high.

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 of people in Tulimani Commuity.

Training

The hygiene and sanitation levels in this community are very low. The community members attempt to sustain a clean environment although it’s quite difficult for them. They use ash to reduce the odor in their latrines. Their biggest areas in need of improvement are water treatment, water hygiene, compound hygiene, hand washing habits, and latrine hygiene.

“The current state of hygiene and sanitation in the area is not well established or maintained because of insufficient water in the region,” said Mwathi Musyoka.

“The latrines are rarely cleaned, but ever so often we use ash to emit the odor. Washing hands is not very habitual.”

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with members of the Kamulo Self-Help Group, which are also open to non-members. These will teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish in the community at the personal and household levels. Taking good care of self and environment will make for a healthy community.

Most households have poor compound hygiene and their general hygiene and sanitation standards are low. In relation to this, they need improvement on compound hygiene, effective water treatment methods, handwashing training, soap making lessons and knowledge of disease transmission routes. The members of this group seem to have little knowledge on hygiene and sanitation. This also exposes them to risks of contracting diseases such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea and stomachaches.

Project Updates


11/22/2019: Tulimani Community Sand Dam Complete!

Tulimani, Kenya now has access to a new source of water thanks to your donation. A new sand dam was constructed on a sandy riverbed, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water.

We worked with the Kamulo Self-Help Group for this project. The members – notably all women in this group – and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project. In addition, 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.

“We have made a mark in the history of this locality by bringing water close to the people through this water project. It was not an easy task but through God’s guidance and protection we have made it,” said Mary Mbilu upon completion of the project.

“The long walks in search of water will be a story of the past in the advent of this new water point. We are all happy for having made it possible through our commitment and hard work.”

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.

Sand Dam

The community group faced some challenges which affected the pace of construction leading to delays in the timeline of the project’s completion. At the heart of the delay was that construction was all taking place during the dry season, so getting enough water for each step of construction was a constant challenge that contributed to the slow pace. Despite these added difficulties, the women persisted and were able to complete this massive undertaking.

The Process

The community members collected all of the local materials like rocks and sand that were required for the successful completion of the dam. They also provided labor to support our artisans. The collection of raw construction materials takes longer than the actual construction. For a large sand dam, materials collection could take up to 4 months.

Siting and technical designs were drawn and presented to the Water Resources Management Authority and a survey sent to the National Environment Management Authority for approval before construction started. Once approved, we established firm bedrock at the base of the sand dam wall. In the absence of good bedrock, excavation is done up to a depth at which the technical team is satisfied that the ground is firm enough to stop seepage.

Then mortar (a mixture of sand, cement, and water) is mixed and heaped into the foundation. Rocks are added into the mortar once there is enough to hold them. Barbed wire and rebar are used to reinforce the mixture.

Once the foundation is complete, a skeleton of timber is built to hold up the sludge and rocks above ground level. The process is then repeated until a sufficient height, width, and length are built up. Finally, the vertical timber beams are dismantled and the dam is left to cure.

This dam measures 25.2 meters long and 4.55 meters high. It took 594 bags of cement to build.

Sand dam construction was simultaneous to the construction of a hand-dug well, which gives locals a safer method of drawing water. As the sand dam matures and stores more water, more of it will be accessible as drinking water from the well. To see that hand-dug well, click here.

As soon as it rains, the dam will begin to build up sand and store water. With this water, the surrounding landscape will become a lush and fertile oasis. However, it could take up to 3 years of rain for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity.

New Knowledge

The Mbondoni area field officer Bernadette Makau was informed of the date scheduled for training. She reached the group’s chair, Madam Mbilu Mutumba, through a phone call, and Mutumba then informed all of her group members on the venue and dates for training. The area village administrator and village elders were also invited.

Group members take turns stirring liquid soap during training

The training was held in Chair Mutumba’s homestead under a tree. The tree did not provide enough shade for a whole day, however, so our team had to move several times to stay under the shade. During the third day, we were interrupted by the rains.

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.

Demonstrating tippy tap use for handwashing

All of the people in attendance actively participated in the training topics. One of the most memorable topics for the group was the ‘3 pile sorting’ exercise where everyone worked together to determine which hygiene and sanitation behaviors are good, bad, and neutral. This activity was said to be memorable by the members because they said that it was the best way to identify behaviors that caused a lot of diseases to them and that it enlightened them.

“This training will bring us so many positive changes as far as hygiene and sanitation are concerned. For instance, we will improve handwashing practices for both adults and young ones. We will also install sanitation infrastructures at our home and places where we meet,” said Mary Mbilu.

“We will also ensure that our water sources are cleaned throughout and that there’s a functional latrine, and ensure that we treat our drinking water.”

From the action plan prepared by the members of this group, it was clear that they were ready to improve on their sanitation and hygiene. Much is expected from this group as far as hygiene and sanitation are concerned.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya19198-thumbs-up


07/16/2019: Tulimani Community Sand Dam Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Tulimani drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your 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 : kenya19198-collecting-water


Project Photos


Project Type

Sand Dam

Seasonal streams (and the sand they carry) are trapped by dams, replenishing the water table and allowing for adjacent hand-dug wells. Almost completely led by community-supplied sweat and materials, and under the supervision of engineers, dams are strategically placed within those dry river-beds. The next time it rains, flood-waters are trapped.

With a sand dam, this trapped sand begins to hold millions of gallons of rainwater. Soon enough, sand reaches the top of the dam, allowing water to continue downstream – where it meets the next dam. The result? A regional water table is restored.


Contributors

Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Family Foundation