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The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Mrs Chera And Her Dish Rack
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Mrs Chera And Her New Latrine
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Mrs Chera At Her Home
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Home And Farm
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Family That Uses Chera Spring
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Household
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Household
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Household
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Esembe Community -  Current Water Source

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 256 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  05/31/2018

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the Community

The people of Esembe Village are mainly farmers, although they do it on a small scale. Those who have the largest farms are mostly sugarcane farmers. Their crops can easily be sold to local sugar factories.

Each day begins early at 6am in a rush to get things done before the afternoon heat. Women are usually involved in household-based activities such as cleaning and taking care of children. But they also do a ton of work on the farm, too! They are the ones seen most on the farms during the day, with few men there.

A majority of the men head out into town in search of other casual jobs (mainly construction work). The day usually ends around 7pm when the darkness begins setting in and everyone prefers being home. Dinner is served early, and the children do a few school assignments by candlelight. Everyone is in bed around 9pm.

Water Situation

Chera Spring serves several families living around Esembe. Community members prefer not to use the water here, and certainly fear drinking it. They keep the largest possible open containers outside their homes in hopes of rain. But when it doesn’t rain, there is no other option but to scoop water from Chera Spring – an open water source that is subjected to all kinds of contamination.

If a family can’t afford a large container for collecting rainwater, they’ll fully rely on spring water. Many can’t afford firewood for boiling the water to make it safer for drinking, either.

36-year-old Gladys Chera told us, “Since I was a small child, we grew up understanding that some of the diseases we now know as cholera and typhoid would only affect people as a result of witchcraft. At the moment we have an unclear understanding of the causes… our water is not clean but we have no alternatives so we just use what is there. The children get so sick, especially during rainy seasons. We therefore need some help!”

Sanitation Situation

The latrines here are either thatched with mud, made of old iron sheets, or if a family is well-off, they’ll use bricks.  The floors are either made of mud or wooden slats lain over the pit. Not all households even have a pit latrine, though. And if they have one, children are still allowed to run around and relieve themselves as they please.

There are no hand-washing stations, but we noticed that people have put in an effort; there is at least one type of sanitation structure whether it be a pit latrine, dish rack, or clothesline.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least three days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant 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. Since open defecation was encountered here, this is at the top of our list of things to address. Waste always needs to be disposed of properly, or else it will be spread by flies or rainwater.

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.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

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 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.

Plans: Spring Protection

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.

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 female community members by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Project Updates

03/16/2018: Esembe Community Project Underway

Dirty water from Chera Spring is making people in Esembe Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

The Water Project : 1-kenya18131-current-water-source

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


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