This project is being implemented by our partner Western Water And Sanitation Forum, and includes the construction of a spring protection system and sanitation platforms.
This unprotected spring is located in the boundary of Lurambi and Shinyalu constituencies, Isukha Busotstso locations, Lubao sub location, Standi Mboga village. The spring is serving a total number of 520 people from 65 households of which 257 are male, 263 female, and 10 disabled persons.
It also serves a Sister Carolli Primary School which has 230 pupils among them being 110 boys and 120 girls.
The spring water has been in existence for the last 17 years and the water used for general use i.e. cooking, drinking, cleaning and watering animals and the drainage water downstream from the spring is used for subsistence vegetables farming.
The spring is located 500m from the road and the slope is towards the water point. The surface run-off from the road finds is way into the spring and the villagers reported that due to this their has been changes of the drawing point due to mudslide as a result of the erosion. The surface water run-off which carries dirt and contaminants deposits them at the spring. This has resulted in out breaks of water borne diseases and most common cases are typhoid, diarrhea, stomachaches and sore throat which the local people call it "Muyaka".
Due to this challenges, there was an intervention of a development partner known as “One Acre Fund” dealing with agriculture extension services which tried to intervene by providing chlorine dispensers at the water point but because there are many people using the facility, it was not enough for them and some people also vandalized and stole the chlorine so that they could use it in their homes leaving the rest of the consumers to take the contaminated and unsafe water.
The children are greatly affected as it was reported that due to suffering from water related diseases, they regularly miss school. This has far many effects in their health; performance and it also drains the family resources that they would otherwise use for economic activities.
There is also a great challenge in sanitation and hygiene situation amongst most households. Most of the community members have dilapidated latrines. During rain seasons, the latrine floors are muddy and uncomfortable to use as well as lacking privacy. This results in too many people particularly children, relieving themselves in sugarcane plantation that surround the community. This waste in sugarcane plantations during rain seasons becomes sources of pollution.
This situation has persisted for a long time in the village with emergence of conflict among the water consumers accusing each other of neglect and badly using the water point. There have been attempts by the village administrator to mobilize the community to take action of protecting the spring; they collected together about Kshs.2000 and some stones and sand but they were short of the requirements. They then conducted the government to assist but they were never helped.
When the village administrator attended a chiefs public meeting he heard about another area where WEWASAFO had protected a spring (Bweseletse spring), he made an effort and contacted the officers concerned. The WEWASAFO officers went and vetted the spring and found out that it was in need of help and that by protecting the spring, it would improve community health.
The mobilization process of the community
The community sensitization and mobilization activities targeted both the local leaders in the communities. This began by sensitization of the Deputy county Commissioner who was also acting county commissioner in Kakamega county and Assistant county commissioner of Shinyalu and Lurambi. Since the spring lies on the boundary of the two constituencies both officers were briefed on the project intervention in their areas.
This was followed up by sensitization of the local administration in the location, sub location and village. This was aimed at creating awareness on the projects intervention in the area and also selection of the key resource persons to be trained as PRAs in the public meeting conducted by the Chief.
Social outreach to the community
The Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) process
The PRA process was conducted with an objective of equipping participants with relevant skills of appraising the projects in the community and training on good leadership, management, monitoring and evaluation.
Representation was drawn from opinion leaders, community members, administration and one acre fund trained representatives who were trained on chlorine dispensers at the spring and are working in the same area.
Mapping of the community resources was done to assist the community members to identify the locally available resources within their community and contribute the same towards the project. This ensures ownership and sustainability of the project. The community calendar was also done in order to identify key events in the community like market days, holidays, public meeting days. This assisted in planning for trainings and other project activities on dates that the community members are available.
The implementation of the Water and Sanitiation Hygiene (WaSH) trainings
Water and sanitation management committee members selected for Wetsulu spring underwent training on management and maintenance of their water spring, good governance, funds collection and record keeping.
A total number of 18 management community members were trained out of which 5 were males and 13 were females.
After training the committees are expected to establish proper structures of management of the water points by fencing the water points, making cut off drainages, planting indigenous trees to conserve the water and setting up of rules to govern the water point.
On funds collection they were encouraged to undertake income generation activities, seek for grants and loans after establishing legal structures.
The Community Health workers around the springs were equipped with relevant skills on health and hygiene promotion in villages in order to reduce incidences of diarrhoea diseases.
A total number of 19 Community Health workers from Wetsulu spring were trained of which 6 were males and 13 were females.
After trainings they were charged with responsibility of creating awareness to the community members on prevention of water borne diseases through practicing good hygiene, family planning and safe water handling.
The implementation of the hardware for the project
The spring is serving a total number of 520 people from 65 households of which 257 are male, 263 female, and 10 disabled persons.
It also serves St. Carolli primary school which has 230 pupils among them being 110 boys and 120 girls.
The following members of the community received the sanitation platforms from Wetsulu spring:-
- Grace Bamasitsa serving total number of 11 people of which 5 are males and 6 are females
- Rose Nyongesa serving total number of 18people of which 15 are males and 3 are females
- Sarah Waima serving total number of 7 people of which 4 are males and 3are females
- Phyllis Saya serving total number of 17 people of which 9 are males and 8 are females
- Diana Paulo serving total number of 13 people of which 6 are males and 7 are female