This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
This unprotected spring is located in Handidi village, Lubao sub-location, Kambiri location, Isukha north ward, Shinyalu sub-county and Kakamega County. The spring is serving a total population of 1008 individuals comprising of community members and pupils from Handidi primary school. It serves 208 community members from 24 households and a total of 384 boys and 402 girls in the school. Pupils of Handidi Primary school do not have access to safe drinking water in the school compound so they have to spend a lot of time going to draw water from the spring. [Since this report was posted, Handidi Primary School has received a new rainwater harvesting system to help provide clean water. To see that project, click here.]
(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.)
The water is used for drinking, cooking, watering animals and irrigation on the farms, especially during the dry period. The discharge from the spring is very good and does not dry during dry seasons when other sources are completely dry.
The community members reported that they have suffered from many cases of water borne diseases like typhoid, cholera and dysentery as a result of drinking water from this unprotected spring. Since the spring is unprotected, it is open to contamination by surface run off, people stepping into the water as they fetch, and animals that also drinking from it. A lot of time is also wasted by the women who have to wait for the water to settle before fetching.
Sanitation is also wanting as many people do not have latrines. This was evident with open defecation apparent around the site. Since the spring is unprotected, the faeces is washed into the water resulting in outbreaks of water borne diseases.
Hygiene practices are also poor amongst the community members with many people not washing their hands after toilet use. Many compounds were unclean. Few people had dish racks, clothlines and traditional bathrooms.
The community members are in dire need of support and are urging WEWASAFO to consider them and protect the spring so that they can reduce cases of water borne diseases and also reduce time wasted in order to engage in other economic activities.
COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS TRAINING
The Community Health Workers training for Paulo spring was held at the land owner’s home for 2 days. Paulo spring is located in Handidi village, Lubao sub location, Kambiri location, Isukha North Ward of Shinyalu constituency.
The main objective of the training was to equip the Community Health workers form Paulo spring with relevant skills and knowledge on dissemination of good hygiene practices so as to reduce rates of Water borne diseases.
A total number of 13 people attended the training out of which 4 were males and 9 were females.
The training begun with a word of prayer by one of the participants. There after WEWASAFO staff welcomed all the participants to the trainings while thanking them of their commitment that they showed towards the project.
The owner of the home which was also the venue of the training thanked all the participants to his home. He also appreciated the project for considering providing them with safe water. Rev. David Kifude said that accessing safe water in the past had been a challenge as the water was not protected and this resulted to many people especially children suffering from water related diseases.
Everyone then introduced themselves while stating their names and their expectation from the workshop.
Objectives of training
The participants were led through the workshop objectives as follows:
1. To enable participants to be resource persons in facilitation and dissemination of hygiene messages by use of participatory methods and approaches
2. Increase and equip participants with knowledge of hygiene promotion activities.
Chain of contamination
Participants were taken through this lesson with an aim of helping them identify chains of contamination that result in water related diseases
It also assisted them in identifying good hygiene practices that they need to adopt in order to reduce spread of water borne diseases.
Group one came up with the following as the routes/chain of contamination;
- Using the bush instead of the toilet
- Living in a dirty environment
- Not washing hands after toilet use and before eating
- Drinking contaminated water
- Not cooking food well
Group two had this as their answers to chain of contamination;
- Eating food without washing hands with soap
- Using bushes near water sources as latrines
- Eating cold food
- Drinking water that is not treated
- Not covering food
Good hygiene practices that reduce spread of water related diseases:
- Avoid using bushes as latrines especially close to the water sources
- Covering cooked food
- Treating drinking water
- Washing hands after every toilet use and before eating
Methods of Prevention
In order to prevent or reduce spread of water related diseases, Participants agreed on the following:
- Hands should be washed after toilet use, before eating, after changing the child’s nappy and after eating
- Treat drinking water before use by either boiling, using water guard, life straw, chlorination, filtration, e.t.c, if not obtained from a known safe source.
- Stopping the practice of open defecation
- Covering food to protect from contamination by flies
- Cooking food until its well cooked
Water related diseases
From the chains of contamination the facilitator brainstormed on the water diseases that may result from the contamination routes and the participants listed them as follows:
- Skin infection
Participants in two groups were assigned to discuss:-
1. The ways in which water is contaminated at the spring, on the way and at the source.
2. Prevention of contamination at the three critical points
Contamination at the spring:
- Washing and bathing at the spring
- Farming activities close to spring
- Animals grazing at spring
- Locating latrines near the water source
- Soil erosion
Prevention of Contamination at the spring:
- Avoid washing and bathing at the spring.
- Avoid farming activities close to the spring
- Prevent animals from grazing at the water spring
- Avoid locating latrines close to the water sources
- Keep drainage channels clear
- Clean the spring regularly
Contamination on the way:
- Dipping dirty hands in the water container
- Carrying water in uncovered containers
- Putting leaves in the water containers
- Delaying water on the way home
Prevention of Contamination on the way:
- Do not delay water on the way
- Avoid dipping hands in water while carrying
- Cover water containers
- Do not dip leaves in the water containers
Contamination in the home:
- Not covering the water containers
- Storing water in dirty container/environments
- Overstaying water in the containers
Prevention of Contamination in the home:
- Cover water containers
- Avoid keeping water for long, storing for three days at most.
- Avoid storing water in a dirty environment
- Store water in clean containers and make sure its covered.
- Keep water inside the house
Role of hygiene promoters
The facilitator helped the participants to appreciate and understand their role in hygiene promotion and they defined their roles as:
- Make at least 10 home visits within their villages
- Spring visits
- Attend public meetings
- Visiting churches
- Visiting Health centers
During home visits they were to educate the community on having:
- Dish racks
- Compost pits
- Cloth lines
- Clean latrines
- Drain stagnant waters
- Nutrition and diet
- Family planning /Immunization
- HIV/AIDS awareness
During spring visits they were to be aware and advise the community on the:
- Status of the spring
- Farming activities around the spring
- The rate of disease decrease
- Spring management, conservation and protection.
Participants using an evaluation questionnaire evaluated the training and stated they had learned a lot and realized that water related diseases are caused by common practices that people ignore.
They requested more time next time so that they could have more time for sharing experiences.
One of the trained community health workers thanked WEWASAFO on behalf of the others for the training and they promised to work together and put into practice what they had learned so that they could reduce water borne diseases.
Betty Majani, the WASH officer, thanked the participants for attending the training and called upon them to take what they have learned with the seriousness that it deserves so as to reduce water borne diseases.
Meeting ended with word of prayer from one of the participants.