Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 226 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/12/2023

Project Features


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Beatrice Mukhola, a 38-year-old farmer from Buyangu, was visiting nearby Kambiri Community when she passed by Sachita Spring - where we carried out a spring protection earlier this year. She noticed the change at the spring and asked people fetching water from it how on how they managed to protect their spring.

The people referred her to us and she contacted our office to consider protecting her community's spring. We dispatched our teams to visit Mukhola Spring and realized that it was viable for protection.

"If you protect this spring our livelihood and health will improve tremendously," said Mrs. Mukhola to us.

The 236 community members who use the spring have tried to improve it by fixing a pipe at the end to make it easier to fetch water. However, the water is open therefore prone to contamination from the environment. There are water crabs and frogs in the water source. The water from the spring is not safe for drinking, but the community members drink it because they don't have an alternative source of clean and safe water.

People fall ill frequently as a result of consuming water from the spring. Children and the elderly are the most affected since their immune system is weak. They suffer from waterborne and water-related diseases like typhoid, diarrhea, and malaria, which sometimes leads to death. As a result, a lot of money is spent on hospital bills and funeral arrangements instead of using it for the economic development of families and the community as a whole.

"My children are are still young and fall ill so many times because of drinking water from our unprotected spring," said Beatrice Mukhola, a farmer who uses the spring. "I understand we should treat the water from the spring but we don't have extra money to spend on chlorine and boiling water is time-consuming.

Buyangu community is a rural area setting which is peaceful and calm. Most buildings are roofed using iron sheets and mud-walled. Tthe kitchens are grass thatched and mud-walled too. The vegetation is very green and it comprises of trees, maize, vegetables, sugarcane, bananas, sweet potatoes, and cassava plantations.

Community members in this area earn their living by selling their excess farm produce. Some others will use motorbikes to transport people and goods from one place to another for a fee. Some men work as casual laborers in the nearby sugar factories.

On a typical day here, women are the ones who wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast and assist the children to get ready for school. Afterward, they do general chores like washing dishes, cleaning clothes, and sweeping the household. They make several trips to the spring to fetch water before they go to the farm to do necessary farming activities. Men wake up, take breakfast and then go out to work so that they can provide for their families. In evenings, after the day's activities, they all gather together and share a meal that has been prepared by the women of the home. Most people then retire to bed by around 8 pm.

What we can do:

Spring Protection

Protecting the spring will help provide access to cleaner and safer water. 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 a task predominantly carried out by women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will, therefore, help empower the female members of the community by freeing up more of their time and energy to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least 2 days. This training will ensure participants have the knowledge they need about healthy practices and their importance.

The facilitator plans to use Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), 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 is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

Training will result in the formation of a committee that will oversee the operations and maintenance of 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 channels. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area’s mosquito population at a minimum.

Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select 5 families that should benefit from new concrete latrine floors. Training will inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, including bricks, clean sand, and gravel. The 5 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


06/25/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Buyangu Community, Mukhola 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.

Emphasizing use of soap when handwashing

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 Buyangu, Kenya.

We trained more than 16 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.

Handwashing training

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.

Handwashing

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.

Homemade face mask tutorial

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.

Reviewing the prevention reminders chart

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.

Everyone practiced the 10 steps of handwashing

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.




03/02/2020: Buyangu Community, Mukhola Spring Project Complete!

Buyangu Community now has access to clean water! Mukhola Spring has been transformed into a flowing source of water thanks to your donation. We protected the spring, constructed 5 sanitation platforms for different households in the community, and we trained the community on improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

Field Officer Christine Masinde (center) with happy community members at protected Mukhola Spring

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.

Kids help carry local materials to the construction site

The Process

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 pipe was fixed low in place through the headwall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

Artisan sets the discharge pipe in the headwall

As the wing walls and headwall were curing, 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.

Artisan cements the stone pitching into place

The source area was filled up with clean stones and sand and covered with a thick plastic tarp to prevent potential sources of contamination. Then soil was layered on top of the tarp so that community members could transplant grass to prevent erosion. Finally, the collection area was fenced in. There were only 2 pauses during the entire construction process. The first was due to several days of heavy rainfall, and the second was while collecting more stones for backfilling since the spring had several eyes and a large reservoir area. These resulted in slight delays, but eventually, the spring protection was successfully completed.

Backfilling with large stones

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. They were very excited to see clean water flowing from the pipe.

Kids smile at the spring

We met them there to celebrate this momentous occasion. It was an event filled with happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation flowing in all directions.

Men celebrate the newly protected spring

"This spring has greatly been transformed. The water is very clean and free from contamination. I believe waterborne and water-related diseases like typhoid and diarrhea will be unheard of. Thank you for considering our community for the implementation of the project. God bless you abundantly," said Mr. Henry Mukhola, a farmer in the community.

Mr. Zakayo Mukhola

"Even though I was involved in a road accident and stuck in a wheelchair, this project has made me smile," said Mr. Zakayo Mukhola.

"I have always wanted to protect this spring but I could not afford it. I really appreciate this work. I have nothing to give you but to ask God to bless your organization and the donors."

A woman enjoying the fresh spring water

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.

A woman poses with her new sanitation platform

New Knowledge

Community member Mrs. Beatrice Mukhola, who would at the end of training be elected Chair of the water user committee, helped organize the training in coordination with our team. Together we found the community’s preferred date for training while considering other events in the community calendar such as the agricultural season and expected gatherings.

Some 15 people attended training, which was conducted in Mr. Zakayo Mukhola's homestead. The compound was quiet and peaceful which was favorable for the learning environment. The weather was calm with sunny intervals. Being a rainy season there were fears that it could start raining any time but luckily it did not. The participants were very eager to learn, asking and answering questions all day.

Training begins led by Field Officer Christine Masinde

We covered several topics including community participation; leadership and governance; personal and environmental hygiene; water handling and treatment; operation and maintenance of the spring and sanitation platforms; dental hygiene; the 10 steps of handwashing, and how to make and use a tippy tap and leaky tin. We brainstormed income-generating activities that can be used to start both a community savings account for any future minor repairs to the spring, as well as a cooperative lending group to enable members to develop their own small businesses.

Trainer Amos leads solar disinfection lesson

The solar disinfection method for treating water was of particular interest to the group since it is free and easy. During the handwashing portion of the day, community members were surprised to learn that it was very easy to make and use a tippy tap when they had originally thought it was complicated. The community members were eager to practice the steps of handwashing steps and dental hygiene.

A volunteer demonstrates toothbrushing

After being taught about operations and maintenance of the spring, they could be seen picking dirt from around the spring according to the standards we had just covered. All of these observations were encouraging and are good signs of this community's commitment to the longevity of the spring and to improve their health and hygiene.

A woman demonstrates handwashing using a leaky tin

"The training has been very informative in matters to do with hygiene and sanitation. We are going to put it into practice so that we can lead a healthy life. We will share the information with other community members too," said Agnes Masitsa, a farmer in the community who attended the training.

Thank you for making all of this possible!




01/27/2020: Buyangu Community, Mukhola Spring Project Underway!

Dirty water from Mukhola Spring is making people in Buyangu 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!




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!


Giving Update: Buyangu Community, Mukhola Spring

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Buyangu Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Rhoda. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Buyangu Community, Mukhola Spring.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Buyangu Community, Mukhola Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

"Before the project, the spring water itself was not safe as a lot of crabs and frogs used to dirty the water. The place was not clean like it is now; everywhere was full of water which could make it difficult in collecting water or accessing the spring."

"There was no pipe fitted to aid in fetching water, and the banana stem used before would rot, rendering the water unsafe for human use. Much time was wasted in collecting water because much care was to be exercised when fetching water."

"We are very appreciative to the donors who helped us ensure our water point is protected. Through protection, we are accessing safe, clean water as our water source is no longer exposed like it was before. More so, we do collect safe, clean water using the shortest time possible."

"For me personally, before construction, I could not drink water from this water source without boiling or sieving it. But, since implementation, I can drink water from our water point at any given time."

 


Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Buyangu Community, Mukhola Spring maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Buyangu Community, Mukhola Spring – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise!


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