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 Ebushisoka village, Mulwanda location, Kisa Central ward, Khwisero District, within Kakamega County. The spring is located 100 metres away from Emunga’bo primary school. The spring serves a great number of people totaling 539 from 77 households. Of which 291 are Men and 248 are women all inclusive.
(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.)
This unprotected water spring is located in a low area and is also surrounded by bushes, increasing the risk of contamination by surface run off. Many people who lack latrines defecate in the bushes close to the water point and during the rainy season the surface run off carries the waste into the water. This has resulted to constant outbreaks of many water related diseases that including cholera, typhoid, dysentery and coughs.
Hygiene practices within the community are also poor as many people lack latrines, bathing rooms, and compost pits. Only a few had clothlines and dish racks.
The sanitation is a challenge as many people lack latrines and the few they have are in poor repair.
The community members had approached various organizations including politicians to assist them in protecting the water source but they never succeeded. Politicians took advantage of them during campaigns by promising to protect the water spring once they voted them in, which they have never fulfilled even after being elected to office. They have even went so far as to collect some funds from them.
When they learned of WEWASAFO, they approached the organization and asked to be considered for protecting the water point for them.
The beneficiaries have already organized themselves and a management committee structure is in place. The chairman stated they are ready and willing to avail the required local materials any time if considered.
HYGIENE AND SANITATION TRAINING
During the community trainings, which included visiting another previously protected spring, WEWASAFO wash trainers explained in detail to the community members what it means for water to be contaminated with Coliforms and E coli. At that point they understood why there were constant outbreaks of many water borne diseases.
RESULTS OF THE PROJECT: Spring Protection.
Protection of Narman Kulundu spring is complete and in use.
This spring is located on the lower side and its also surrounded by bushes thus was open to contamination by surface run off. Before it was protected, water samples was take to the government laboratory for tests. The results revealed that the water was contaminated with both coliforms and E coli. The community members were drinking this water without being aware of the danger of drinking unsafe water. Most of them thought that drawing clear water from the source was clean.
They are now happy and confident that they are getting safe drinking water from the source after protection. They are also happy that politicians will never take advantage of them again with false promises of protecting the spring for them. Sanitation and hygiene has also improved in the community. The community members are also aware of the importance of practising good hygiene.
Household sanitation platforms
Sanitation platforms for beneficiaries around the spring has been casted, installed and now in use by the community members. Those who had no latrines and were living around the spring were chosen by the committees. They were happy to receive the slabs and are now making good use of the facilities.