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The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Finishing A Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Happy Group At The Spring
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  New Sanitation Platform Owner
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Feeling The Fresh Water
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Feeling The Fresh Water
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Smiling At The Spring
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Full Of Clean Water
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Happy Filling Up
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Completed Spring
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Dental Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Handwashing Practice
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Tippy Tap Training
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Trainer Demonstrates Proper Cleaning Method
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Site Management Training At The Spring
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Fencing Around Planted Grass
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Soil Backfilling
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Opening The Drainage Channels
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Plastering
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Cementing Pipe Into The Headwall
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Construction Continues
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Boy Helps Artisan Mix Plaster
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Many Hands Make Light Work
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Brick Toss
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Rub Wall Construction
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Construction Continues
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Cementing The Foudnation
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Brick Setting With Teamwork
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Diverting Water And Laying The Foundation
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Woman Doing Laundry Next To The Spring
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Latifa Balancing A Water Bucket On Her Head
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Unprotected Spring
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Latifa Lubumbashi
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Sugarcane
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Banana Farm
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  Community Contact Saif Din
The Water Project: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring -  The Man Who Drove Us To The Community

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 348 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Lutonyi is a semi-urban area located a few kilometers from Kakamega Central Business District. The specific area we visited has mud homes that are rented by people who come to the area to do casual labor. These homes are an easy walk from the busy highway that leads out of Kakamega Town to Mumias.

We met our contact person, Mr. Saif, at a lumber yard off the highway and he led us deeper into the community where we got to meet many other people.

Most men report that their casual labor entails helping out at a mechanic shop, carpentry shop, or with masonry. Women say they’re able to garden a little bit on their small pieces of land, which also helps generate income for their families. Some women have found customers who pay a small fee for them to do laundry.

We met Mrs. Lubumbashi who outlined a normal day: She wakes up early to prepare her children for school. After the husband has left for his job and her children for school, she then embarks on household chores such as sweeping and fetching water. After that, she prepares lunch for her husband who has been contracted at a nearby construction site. He opts to come home for lunch so that he can save his small lunch allowance. The children also come home for lunch at 1 pm because their school is not far away.

“In the evening, I prepare dinner, make sure my kids and my husband have had a warm bath, then I supervise my children as they do their homework. After this, I can call it a successful day,” Mrs. Lubumbashi said proudly.

Being such an urban area, you can see pipes and taps coming out of the ground at many homes. But Mr. Saif explained to us that these taps are dry. He paid a visit to Lake Victoria North Water Services and he learned that since the area is so densely populated, the service cannot afford to pipe water all the way to their homes each day. They say that the current pipes are far too low pressure, and they’d need larger pipes to get water out to these homes. When Mr. Saif pressed in, the service told him that the government was not allocating money in the budget for that kind of water service improvement.

This has forced the 348 people in this area to turn to an open, dirty water source to meet their needs. That source is Lutomia Spring, where we found women washing their clothes. The community told us the dirty water from the spring is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and anything else they need it for. People admitted that even if the taps started working, they might prefer Lutomia Spring because they can all come and draw water for free.

People bring containers of all different sizes and dunk them directly under the water’s surface. The water gets dirtier after a container stirs up the mud at the bottom. But when it rains for a while, the spring looks like a big muddy pool.

Most of the hospital visits made by the people using Lutomia Spring are usually due to stomachache and fever. When lab tests are done, the results are usually typhoid or malaria. Typhoid is rampant due to drinking water from this unprotected spring, while malaria is affecting this community because there is stagnant water that’s home to mosquitoes.

“My children suffer from frequent stomachache and diarrhea. I often thought that this was a result of eating their friend’s contaminated food at school. Now that you have come and pointed out that our water is open to contamination, I will make an effort to be boiling drinking water as I wait for the spring to be protected,” Mrs. Lubumbashi said.

What we can do:

Spring Protection

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.

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. There will be stairs down to the collection point and a pipe that can easily fill water containers. 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.

Training

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.

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.

Sanitation Platforms

At least 30% of households that fetch water from Lutomia Spring don’t have a pit latrine of their own. Those families share with their neighbors.

Most latrines we visited are made of mud walls and wood floors. The floors are not cleaned regularly because the wood can rot away and endanger the pit latrine users.

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should most 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.

Project Updates


10/07/2019: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring Project Complete!

Lutonyi Community now has access to clean water!

Lutomia Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. We protected the spring, provided 5 sanitation platforms to different households in the community, and we trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

Mr. Saiffudin enjoys the fresh spring water

Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, including bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, stones, and fencing poles. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, too.

The Process

Young boy helps a laborer mix plaster

Women and men lent their strength to the artisan to help him with manual labor. The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of thick plastic tarp, wire mesh, and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipes – two, in this case, to help relieve pressure from the large amount of water produced by this spring – were fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Bricklaying begins with teamwork to pass materials back and forth

Setting the discharge pipes

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, the stairs were set and ceramic tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipes. 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 pipes.

Catch!

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry. As soon as it was ready, people got the okay from our field officers to begin fetching clean water.

We met them there to celebrate this momentous occasion.

“This is a noble work that you have done for this community. Our women will no longer have to step in mud to access clean water. You have also saved us the time and energy that we used in the maintenance of our spring to keep it accessible,” said Mr. Saiffudin, chair of the water committee.

Completed Lutomia Spring

Sanitation Platforms

All 5 sanitation platforms have been installed. These 5 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.

New proud owner of a sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Chair of the water committee Mr. Saiffudin was tasked with organizing the training. He gave us the community’s preferred date for training, for he was very much aware of the community calendar when it comes to planting season and other big events.

Some 12 people attended training, which was held on a bright and sunny morning in Mr. Saiffudin’s front yard, which had nice shade from the roof. The turnout was a little bit on the lower side because most people in the community are tenants who have to work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, thus they were not reachable. Despite this, the people who did come are the ones whose families have been managing the spring since time immemorial.

Site management training at the spring

At first, the participants were a little bit unsettled because the training started early and some had not even had time to take breakfast yet. As the training progressed, however, the participants became lively because of the knowledge that they were gaining.

We covered several topics including leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; and the prevention and spread of disease. We also covered water treatment methods, personal care like handwashing, environmental hygiene, hygiene promotion, and many other things.

Handwashing practice

The facilitator was a little skeptical at first on how the topic of general cleanliness would be received by the participants, who live in a more urban setting and might find the topic a waste of time. This was not true, however, as the facilitator found that the participants were very receptive to the improvisation technology of hygiene facilities. They preferred to adopt the tippy tap and they appreciated the proper techniques for handwashing and dental hygiene.

“This training will help me to eat with clean hands. As a family, we normally eat from one plate and with the knowledge of the 10 steps of handwashing under running water, our family will be healthier,” said community health volunteer Mr. Hussein Olando.

Enjoying the fresh spring water

The community has a self-help group that charges a small fee for spring maintenance. We encouraged other community members to give support to the group, especially to help clear the drainage channels. This would be particularly important with the current heavy rains, as the drainage tends to become blocked very frequently.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 21-kenya19138-happy-filling-up


09/05/2019: Lutonyi Community, Lutomia Spring Project Underway!

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

Get to know this 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 news of success!


The Water Project : 9-kenya19138-fetching-water


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 pours through a reinforced pipe in a concrete headwall to a paved collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!