Shirakala Community is a cosmopolitan area, thus activities differ from one family to another.
Individuals wake up early to fetch water from Ambani Spring, engage in morning cleaning then go on to their respective places of work. Children, on the other hand, go to school for their academic studies.
The spring is an unprotected water source that serves more than 300 people. Community members scoop the water using a small jar to fill their larger jerrycans. The containers are often not clean, contaminating the water that is already affected by pollutants like open defecation and proximate farming.
The containers rarely have covers and the water is stored in the open at home in the same canisters or pots.
Individuals reported having contracted waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and typhoid as a result of consuming the water.
"This has been a thorn in our flesh since time immemorial," Madam Roda said.
More than half of households have latrines. Most are not in proper condition, making them hazardous to users.
Here’s what we’re going to do about it:
Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need 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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it’s consumed. Hand-washing will also be a big topic.
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. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.
On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrine floors.
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 chosen for sanitation platforms 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.
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. With the community’s high involvement in the process, there should be a good sense of responsibility and ownership for the new clean water source.
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.
This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water And Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.