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The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Site Clearance
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Excavation
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Digging Drainage Channel
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Laying Foundation
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Mixing Cement
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Brick Setting
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Brick And Stone Work
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Pipe Setting
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Cementing The Walls
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Stair Construction
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Cement Works
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Plaster Work
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Tile Setting
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Backfilling With Stones
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Laying Of Tarp
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Backfilling With Soil And Fencing
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Grass Planting
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Casting Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Training With Karen Begins
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Mr Aggrey Lusimba
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Participant Reads Toothpaste Ingredients
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Mr Lusimba Demonstrates Toothbrushing
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Mr Lusimbas Son Speaks
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Discussing Importance Of Clotheslines
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Discussing Importance Of Dishracks
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Looking At Example Of Improvised Leaky Tin
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Site Management At The Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Training Complete
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Roselyne Metah Named After Late Mama Metah
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Owner Of New Sanitation Slab
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Owner Of New Sanitation Slab
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Completed Metah Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Community Celebrates New Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Smiles At The Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Washing Container Before Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Kids Get A Fresh Drink
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Happy Day
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Look Clean Water
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Happy Day
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Celebrating The Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  United We Grow
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Enjoying A Fresh Drink
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Women Pose With The Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Happy Day
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Trough Used To Collect Rain Water
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Traditional House
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Sugarcane Plantations
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Showing Water Flow Away From Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Household
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Bathroom
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Maize Plantaion
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Kitchen Of Mama Ruth
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Tippy Tap For Handwashing At The Lusimbas Home
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Community Farm
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Children Shelling Maize
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Children Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Children Playing
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Bathroom
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Drum For Storing Water
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  A Cow Grazing
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Woman Prepares To Wash Dishes
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Algae In The Water
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Unprotected Metah Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Selestine Carries Water Home
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Selestine Washes Her Container
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Selestine Fills Up
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Selestine Lusimba Spring Landowner Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Community Members At The Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Child Fetches Water At The Spring
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring -  Child And Water Containers

Project Status



Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 175 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Mukangu Village is very rural, highly vegetated, and the buildings are predominantly semi-permanent with mud walls and iron sheet roofs with a few permanent houses. Farming and manual labor are the most common livelihoods here. As we entered the village and walked through different homesteads, we saw women working in the farms and children shelling maize. Sugarcane farming is also practiced at a small scale within some homesteads.

Mr. Aggrey Lusimba and his wife, Mrs. Selestine Lusimba, are one such household that owns a sugarcane plantation that is almost ready for harvesting. They are also the landowners of the area where Metah Spring is located.

Metah Spring is not very far away from most of the 175 people in Mukangu who use it, since the spring is centrally located. The path to the source is a bit steep and difficult to access during the rainy season as it gets slippery. The water quality seems poor as it has a lot of green algae inside the water. It is also not very clear due to the fact that it is open to contaminants from both humans and animals. We would drink this water only if it had undergone water purification like boiling or treatment, reported our teams.

Some community members in Mukangu do boil the water from Metah Spring before drinking it, while the others take it as it is. This latter group believes in a Kiswahili saying, “Maji haina roho mbaya.” This is translated as “Water has no bad omen,” meaning water naturally should be safe to drink.

There are, however, several known negative consequences of lacking safe water in this community.

“We are only at the mercy of God as the water we take is dirty and we often get sick,” said Ruth Shikanga, a farmer in the village.

“We have had outbreaks of water-related diseases as a result of drinking this dirty water. Thank you for considering us [for spring protection]. We are happy that, finally, we shall now drink safe and clean water.”

The most common diseases in Mukangu include malaria and other water-related infections, which are in part due to the unsafe water from unprotected Metah Spring.

“I’ve been married in this community for more than 15 years and at no point did anyone ever think about improving our water source,” said Selestine Lusimba, the landowner of Metah Spring in tandem with her husband, Aggrey Lusimba.

“We drank dirty water year in year out. I am so glad that finally, God has answered our prayers.”

This community does seem enlightened on some sanitation and hygiene issues. For one, as we walked through homesteads we saw 3 different leaky tins for handwashing around the latrines and each homestead had a dish rack. The greatest area that needs improvement is water handling, including how to prevent contamination from the point of collection to storage and use.

A day in Mukangu starts in the morning with normal morning chores, cleaning the house and the compound, taking breakfast, going to fetch water, and going to work on the farm with activities like plowing, planting, weeding, and harvesting. Later in the day, women prepare lunch for the young ones who go to school at Bukhaywa Primary School. In the evenings some will take maize cereals to the mill for flour, buy food in the market, and prepare supper for the night.

Right now in Makunga it is maize harvesting season, therefore in most homes, you will see the women and children occupied with shelling and drying off the maize. Others are already preparing their plantations for the second planting season. In the second planting season, most people will be planting beans, groundnuts, and vegetables for selling in Kakamega Town.

In this community, people identify strongly with their different cultures. The predominant sub-tribe of Luhya here are the Isukhas. Every Saturday morning in this community is a special day when all the daily activities are put aside between 5:00 am to 11:00 am when the whole village gathers to witness the bullfighting, a special tradition for Isukhas.

All activities stop as men, women, and children gather to see the fight between their bulls. We understand this community calendar and we intend to plan our training on days when the community is not engaged in such an activity as we know that no one will attend the training if it is scheduled on a bullfighting day.

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


03/26/2020: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring Project Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into place.

Mukangu Community now has access to clean water! Metah 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.

At Metah Spring, Dreams of Clean Water Run in the Family

This spring was named Metah after the late mother of Mr. Aggrey Lusimba, the spring’s landowner. The name was written in memory of this late mother who pioneered to ensure that her family accessed clean and safe drinking water.

“Though she died before seeing her dream come true, but truly wherever she is she is singing and thanking God that her dream has finally been realized,” said one of the key figures in this project.

Mr. Aggrey Lusimba

Mr. Lusimba elaborated on how Mama Metah would walk miles and miles, office to office, seeking help to have clean water in her community. This was prompted by the attack she had of typhoid that nearly cost her her life. She had to be hospitalized at the County Referral Hospital of Kakamega for treatment and spent close to Ksh 12,000 ($120) which was a lot of money that would have otherwise been used for undertaking other productive activities.

At one point, she made everyone laugh when she stated that she was going to write a proposal of spring protection to the president of Kenya as she believed it was the government’s role to ensure that its people accessed clean and safe drinking water.

Rebecca Metah stands proudly with the spring (under construction at the time) that shares her namesake, her grandmother

“My name is Rebecca Metah, and I was named after my grandmother. She was called Metah. She was the pioneer of safe and clean drinking water in this community. She went to be with the Lord and may her soul rest in peace. She walked from office to office seeking help regarding the protection of our spring. From the chief’s office to the District Commissioner’s office, and all her efforts were futile. She walked with a 1-page proposal that was done by my elder brother Kusimba.”

“Today in my life is the greatest day as I took over her name and I also inherited her passion for safe, clean water in this community. I had planned that once I start working I will use my salary to improve our spring. Thanks to your team and all of you who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we have safe clean drinking water,” concluded Metah.

How We Protected Metah Spring

When the hardware materials were finally delivered to the community, the excitement amongst the community members could not be contained. Everyone gathered to see the deliveries being made that confirmed and truly marked the beginning of a turning point in their lives to accessing safe drinking water.

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 at Mr. Aggrey Lusimba’s home, and women and men lent their strength to the artisan to help with the manual labor, too.

The Process

On the day the artisans arrived, they walked into the compound of Mr. Aggrey Lusimba and they were served with a cup of tea. They then proceeded straight to the spring. First, the spring area was cleared and excavated to create space for setting the foundation of thick plastic tarp, wire mesh, and concrete.  Since the rains had begun, the artisans covered the slab with cement bags and banana leaves and retired to Mr. Lusimba’s home where they were sheltered. They were grateful to be served with hot steaming ugali (corn mush) and sukuma wiki (greens).

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 into 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.

Cement work on the walls and stone pitching

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. It took about 2 weeks of patience for the concrete to dry.

Adding the thick plastic tarp as a mid-layer in the backfill

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. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day flowing in all directions.

Kids get a fresh cup of water from the 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.

A new sanitation platform owner

New Knowledge

Village elder, spring landowner, and community pastor all-in-one Mr. Aggrey Lusimba helped organize the training in coordination with our team. As a man who commands respect and has a voice in this community, when he informed the community members about the project they all turned up and participated effectively in the construction and training. 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. When the day arrived, Lead Field Officer for this project Karen Maruti deployed to the site with Field Officer Betty Muhongo.

The quorum for the participants was not as expected, however, with just 11 people in attendance at training as the community had lost a dear one who was being removed from the morgue that day and a majority of the people had gone to be with the bereaved family and console them. Because they had awaited this project for so long, however, they agreed that the training should not be postponed but rather have representatives to attend the training as others proceeded to the funeral. We did as requested as forged ahead with the day.

Facilitator Karen opens training

The training was held at Mr. Aggrey Lusimba’s homestead and the practical sessions were conducted at the spring site. On this particular day, the weather was cloudy since it had rained heavily the previous afternoon. As the training came to a close, it started raining heavily again and everyone ran to their homes to take in clothes left outside to dry. Everyone in this training was very active, particularly in the sessions on hygiene, and their level of understanding was good.

We covered several topics including community participation in the project; 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. During the leadership and governance session, we held an election for the leaders of the newly formed water user committee.

Mr. Lusimba’s son (also called Mr. Lusimba) demonstrates toothbrushing during the dental hygiene session

We also 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.

Karen covers spring maintenance at the construction site

It was during the discussion on spring maintenance that some of the training participants said they could not forget those who had not contributed toward the project yet. These speakers informed the facilitator that they did not want the non-helpers to fetch water from the spring. The facilitator took this time to emphasize that this water point was being protected only because it had been promised to remain a public water source for all who came upon it, regardless of their position or level of help at the time of construction. The facilitator Karen circled back to their discussion on group dynamics to address the attitudinal and behavioral characteristics this issue brought into play.

Field Officer Betty evaluates an improvised leaky tin for handwashing outside the latrine in Mr. Aggrey Lusimba’s homestead

Environmental hygiene was another memorable topic. In part of this session, Karen encouraged everyone to avoid open defecation and to use latrines as it helped both their groundwater supply and their health. At this juncture in the training, the energy was high with everyone excited about the new hygiene concepts learned and discussions ensued amongst them. The woman who owns a sugarcane plantation near the spring asked all those who had been defecating in her sugarcane to stop with immediate effect or else the faces would follow them everywhere they went! At this point, everyone burst out laughing in good fun. This led to a great discussion on the negative consequences of open defecation.

Betty talks about the hygiene benefits of clotheslines using the Lusimba homestead’s example

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the water user committee is equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them. In addition, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

“I am very grateful to you for organizing this training forum. We have had many cases of diarrhea outbreaks in this community in the past and little did my people know that apart from drinking dirty water, poor hygiene practices were also contributory factors. In the chief’s barazas (meetings) we get the Community Health Volunteers teaching people matters of hygiene but many a time my people do not attend due to competing tasks. But today, the training has come to my doorstep and I am grateful,” shared Mr. Aggrey Lusimba.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : 44-kenya19166-happy-day


02/12/2020: Mukangu Community, Metah Spring Project Underway!

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

Get to know this community through the video, 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 : 1-kenya19166-child-fetches-water-at-the-spring


Project Videos


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!


Contributors

SJR
Mitch Brownlie, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
1 individual donor(s)