June, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Musango Community, Jared Lukoko Spring
Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.
Issuing informational pamphlets on COVID-19
We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Musango, Kenya.
We trained more than 11 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.
Homemade mask tutorial
We covered essential hygiene lessons:
- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station
- Proper handwashing technique
- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing
- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.
Following the mask tutorial
We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:
- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19
- What social distancing is and how to practice it
- How to cough into an elbow
- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.
- How to make and properly wear a facemask.
During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.
Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.
Everyone practicing the 10 steps of handwashing
We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.
Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.
August, 2018: Musango Community Project Complete
Musango Community now has clean water! Jared Lukoko Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of clean water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been done on sanitation and hygiene.
Our field officer, Lillian Achieng', communicated closely with Mr. Jared Lukoko to plan for hygiene and sanitation training. Mr. Lukoko went around his community informing every family of the training schedule and the importance of what we'd teach there. Some 22 of us met together outside Mr. Luoko's home on a sunny morning.
Everything went so well; our trainers are used to finding participants who can't understand Swahili or English and need a translator. This time, there were no language barriers at all! Everyone could read and write, too.
We covered several topics including 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, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.
Demonstrating each step of handwashing for the group.
Since Mr. Lukoko lives so close to the spring, we could take the entire group over to learn about water source management and maintenance. Indigenous trees need to be planted around the source, avoiding eucalyptus at all costs. Eucalyptus will drain the spring in a surprisingly short time. There shouldn't be any farming or bathing by the spring, among many other rules to ensure the quality and quantity of water. With proper care, this spring protection will serve generations to come.
Training participants were happy to have so much information they could act on!
"From what I have learned today, teething in my children will never be an issue again. I have learned that teething does not cause diarrhea in babies - rather it is a lack of hygiene," Mrs. Priscah Nyarotso shared.
All five sanitation platforms have been installed and make wonderful, easy to clean latrine floors. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine of their own and are optimistic that people will no longer leave waste outdoors. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.
Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and gravel.
With heavy downpours, the village roads were cold and muddy, making it extra hard to carry stones down to the construction site. We had to remove our shoes to avoid slipping and falling. With a lot of determination, the adults with the help of the little ones were able to support our artisan. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.
The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.
Diverting the water to allow for the impending construction work.
As the wing walls and headwall cured, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This protects the concrete from the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the headwall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.
The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. The artisan had given the spring one last coat of plaster, but heavy rains washed it away overnight. He had to come back again the next day to fix it. But after that, the weather was conducive and the concrete dried over the course of two weeks.
Construction still isn't complete in this picture, but we found it near impossible to keep the curious children away.
As soon as the spring protection was ready for use, the field officer made a visit to officially hand it over to the community. The day was very bright and filled with gratefulness as people witnessed clean water coming from the pipe.
"Our God answers prayers. It never occurred to us that one day we could have clean water running from a pipe for our daily chores and for drinking," Mr. Lukoko said.
"It is a common thing here to draw water from an unprotected spring. We believe that our lives will change with the new water!"