Location: Kenya

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact:
500 Served

Project Phase:
Installed

Functionality Status:
Functional

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Stories and Community Profile

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 Community

Musiero Village is home to 749 people from 118 different households. Most adults work on their farms and sell what they can in the local market, whether it be their harvest or other goods. (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 community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)

After they’ve fetched water, cleaned, and eaten breakfast, others will travel the four kilometers to Kakamega Town for work. Some are taxi drivers there, which the locals call “piki piki.”

This community learned about spring protections when they heard about the one done at Maraba Spring, about two kilometers away. After they saw the clean water at Maraba Spring for themselves, they sent in an application for Litali Spring’s protection.

Water Situation

This huge population relies on Litali Spring for their water. This water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigating crops in the dry season. A family makes an average of five to 10 trips to the spring to meet their household needs. When a family has laundry to do, they may make over 15 trips to the spring. Adults carry jerrycans with a capacity of 10-20 liters while children carry three to five-liter jerrycans. They are sure to also bring a small cup or bowl to drip in the water and fill the jerrycan.

Due to open defecation, improper waste disposal and surface runoff, the water is always contaminated. When at the spring we could visibly see baby diapers, kitchen leftovers, and garbage from the local market. Drinking this water results in typhoid and cases of diarrhea, especially in children under the age of five. Parents spend what little savings they have to treat the sickness of both them and their children at the Provincial General Hospital of Kakamega.

Sanitation Situation

Under half of households have a pit latrine. Those observed were made of mud and wooden slats. Young children and the elderly fear to use these because of the need to balance on wooden slats to use the pit. Open defecation is a huge issue in this community. Parents consider their baby’s feces as harmless here, explaining the diapers thrown around the spring. Children are also allowed to relieve themselves wherever they wish. Out of the 118 households, only 20 of them had a place to wash their hands after using the latrine. Some homes have compost pits dug, while the others throw their waste over fences and on the other side of the road.

We met Regina Angaya, a local grandmother who fetches water from the spring for her family. Her picture can be seen under the “See Photos & Video” tab. She said, “This water is not clean and it’s by the mercies of God that we have not died from diarrhea diseases. Children defecate openly and mature people urinate even close to the spring, contaminating the water. We just drink the water with the belief from the Swahili saying that states, ‘maji haina roho mbaya.’ This means ‘water has no bad heart.” Though it may be contaminated, one can still take it believe it will not harm them. Despite this belief, we have continued to suffer from diarrhea diseases. We appeal to you to save this community by giving us clean water.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Sanitation Platforms

This community requires training on good hygiene and sanitation practices for them to improve the environment they live in. They will learn about how to keep a clean environment and maintain personal hygiene.

Community members will be trained for three days on a variety of health, hygiene and sanitation topics. This training will result in community 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 community members, especially the women and children who feel the burden of household responsibility. Training will equip each person with the knowledge needed to practice viable and effective health solutions in their homes and at the spring.

During training, we will take this community on a transect walk to sensitize them to some of the more serious health threats. We will highlight the dangers of open defecation for both adults and children! The transect walk will teach locals to watch for practices that go on and facilities that are present related to good health and hygiene. Sometimes, a participant feels shame when the group arrives at their household and points out things that are unhealthy or unhygienic; but in Kenya, this affects people to make a positive change. Training participants will also vote on and decide the families that should benefit from the five new sanitation platforms. These five families will have to prepare for the platform by sinking their own latrine pit.

Training will also result in the formation of a water user committee that will oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other training participants will join a group of community health workers who will promote and teach healthy habits to their neighbors.

Plans: Spring Protection

Locals have already started gathering the materials needed for construction, including sand, ballast, stones, and hard core.

When Litali Spring is protected, community members will be able to spend valuable time that was previously wasted on more constructive activities. Water-related diseases and other infectious diseases that plague the community have resulted in members spending a lot of money on medication; sickness also contributes to a high rate of absenteeism in the local school, resulting in poor academic performance.

Protecting the spring will ensure that the water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. The sanitation facilities and trainings will also enable, enlighten and build the capacity of the community so that they can take matters into their own hands.


Project Photos


Recent Project Updates


01/03/2017: Litali Spring Project Complete

We are excited to report that the project to protect Litali Spring in Musiero Village, Kenya is now complete. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to open the “See Photos & Video” tab to enjoy! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at Mr. Litali’s homestead next to the spring. During our visits before these sessions, we went from home to home recruiting community members to either join the water and sanitation management committee or take on the role of community health worker. When we arrived at Mr. Litali’s homestead the first day, community members were already there waiting to learn. As training progressed, more people joined the back of the group to listen.

2 kenya4586 training

Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. We also took a session to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, water animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity. We encouraged positive activities such as building a fence and digging proper drainage, which will prevent water pollution.

6 kenya4586 training

Hand-washing was both discussed and demonstrated. It is one of the most important barriers in preventing disease. Hands should be washed after visiting the latrine, before cooking, before and after eating, after shaking hands, and after handling garbage. We also taught locals how to build a hand-washing station out of sticks, rope, and plastic containers.

7 kenya4586 training

By the end of the three days, participants formed a water user water user committee to oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other participants were equipped with the knowledge to become community health workers. These workers will be responsible for sharing what they learned with the rest of their community by making door-to-door visits. They will continue to keep their neighbors accountable so that the overall community can experience improved health.

Local businessman Joseph Wanyama attended training to learn how he could help his family. He said, “The training has been an eye-opener to the people of this community. These lessons we’ve got here today are going to help change the narrative of this community on sanitation to the better.”

9 kenya4586 training

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. A few of these platforms were even done before training, so the facilitator showed participants how to use and clean these!

11 kenya4586 training

Project Result: Spring Protection

Construction to protect Litali Spring began on November 1st.

After a spring is earmarked for protection, our artisan arrives to clear the construction site. All bushes and trees are felled with machetes. This is followed by excavating up the slope from the spring output. Ballast is then mixed with cement and sand to make concrete. A wire mesh is lain on the excavated space before the concrete is added in order to create a strong foundation. This foundation is left to cure overnight.

15 kenya4586 construction

On the second day, the walls are raised with brick. The artisan then installs a pipe low in the collection wall to direct water from the reservoir to a concrete or plastic spring box. He then backfills the spring source with hardcore until water is flowing from the discharge pipe. The area around the spring is then landscaped, fenced, and drainage is dug.

20 kenya4586 construction

The community helped by gathering sand, bricks, hardcore, and fencing poles. Men tirelessly carried bricks balanced on their heads, and women children lugged bags of sand. They also cooked for and housed our work team during their stay.

Weather presented the only challenge with occasional rain delaying construction a day or two at a time.

Mr. Litali enjoying clean safe water from the protected Litali SPRING

The photo above shows Mr. Litali, the first to enjoy clean water from Litali Spring. We met him and the rest of the community to celebrate. Women and children already had their jerrycans ready to fetch clean water, and we were greeted with smiles. After a few brief speeches, we handed the spring over to the water and sanitation committee and their community.

“This new water source will improve lives of people here. Women in the community can now save the time and effort of walking long distances to access clean drinking water,” said local mother Rehema Nyongesa. Mr. Litali told us that “the entire community is happy about the new spring. Women are now enjoying going to the spring as water is now easily collected from a pipe!”


The Water Project : 30-kenya4586-protected-spring


10/26/2016: Litali Spring Protection Project Underway

We are excited to share that work around Litali Spring has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from this spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report tabs above that contain community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates.

The Water Project and the community of Litali Spring Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.


The Water Project : 1-kenya4586-community


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Musiero
ProjectID: 4586
Install Date:  01/03/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional
Last Visit: 02/18/2017

Visit History:
02/18/2017 — Functional




Contributors

Country Details

Kenya

Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.