Western Kenya WaSH Program
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).
Mundoli Village is home to 211 people from 31 different households. Most adults spend their days working on their farms to get enough food to feed their families. Some of the men engage in brick-making to sell construction materials to neighboring villages that need them, while their wives tend to smaller gardens.
These 211 people rely on Isaac Jumba Spring for their water. Isaac Jumba Spring is named after the landowner who lives with his family nearby.
Community members bring jerrycans and buckets along with smaller jugs to bail water. The full buckets are brought back home and dumped into even larger barrels of 100 to 200-liter capacities. Drinking water is poured into covered clay pots that are known to keep the water cooler.
“Most of the community members lack latrines and therefore go into the bushes, making the area so smelly. When it rains, the rainwater washes away the feces and contaminates our water sources. Your coming to this community will help us access clean and safe water,” shared Mrs. Jumba.
During our visit, community members described how a child here came down with typhoid and died soon after. On receiving news that there are steps that can be taken to prevent things like this, the community was filled with hope and excitement.
No more than half of households have their own pit latrine. Those observed are old and dirty, with a floor made of logs. These floors are hard to clean, and can also rot away and endanger the user. Walls are made of mud or other cheap materials like banana leaves and plastic bags. Because of these poor conditions, open defecation is an issue in this area. This results in waste that is spread around the community via flies and rainwater.
Mrs. Lukokolo admitted that she is one of the many community members without a good place to use the bathroom. She has been defecating in an open pit surrounded by a sugarcane plantation. If she receives help building a new latrine, she vows to never use that open pit again. She now has plans to dig a pit in preparation for a sanitation platform, and will surround it with a decent superstructure.
There are no hand-washing stations and very few helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines.
Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.
Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage.
On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.
Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.
Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.
In addition, 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.
“Once the spring is protected,” said 20-year-old Joseph Jumba, “we will ensure it is fenced and that we enforce rules prohibiting anyone from washing at the spring. We cannot afford to contaminate the spring any longer.”
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.