Wamwaka Spring is a reliable source of water for people living in Kidinye Village. Unfortunately, its dirty water is not a source of life. Families constantly suffer from waterborne disease, diarrhea, and stomach pains. Local women and children both contaminate the spring and waste time by dunking their containers to fetch water. Some of the smaller children even have to wade into the water to fill their containers!
With your support, we have begun providing the tools and skills this community needs. Most importantly, Wamwaka Spring is being transformed into a protected source of clean drinking water.
Welcome to the Community
Kidinye Community is home to 280 people from around 30 different households.
As children wake up to start preparing for school, most men head straight to work - either on their small farms, or doing other income-generating activities like brick-laying and harvesting ballast by breaking big rocks found in the area. Women have to clean homes and prepare breakfast, which they take to their husbands wherever they are working, unless they are motorbike taxi drivers who come back home to eat breakfast.
Some women spend the morning hours engaged in various domestic chores, while others go searching for manual labor. Most women here pick tea to be paid 150 shillings daily, and others run small businesses in Majengo, Mbale, Kivagala or Mudete trading centers.
There are also many alcoholic men who leave their wives having to do everything for their families from providing food to doing all domestic chores and paying school fees. Anytime those men do casual labor and are paid, all of that money is spent on buying local the brew. Some of them, after getting drunk, harass and abuse their wives and children - no wonder some children in this area grow up with bitterness that affects their adult lives.
There's a pocket of these men who lay around all day long, drinking and smoking with no attempt to till their lands. But oddly enough, farm produce - especially maize - is sun-drying on their property during harvesting seasons. They are the ones suspected to be stealing other people's maize and vegetables from the farms. "We suspect them, but no one can claim to know a thief until they are caught red-handed. Therefore, this lot sleeps and drinks during the day but do illicit work at night. Nobody can plant crops ahead of others or later than others because their produce will be the only ones for thieves, therefore they have to wait for everyone else before planting."
Another small group of men are brokers who move from market to market with cattle, goats and sheep, buying and selling at considerable profit margins. Every center has its own market day. For instance, all of the men take their animals to Luanda every Monday and Thursday, Cheptul every Tuesday and Friday, Serem on Wednesday and Saturdays, Mbale every Wednesday, and Mudete every Thursday. You rarely see these men at home.
Many people in Kidinye Community rely on Wamwaka Spring. The number of individuals relying on the spring for all of their water needs drastically rises in the dry season, because Wamwaka is one of the only sources that keeps flowing.
The path to the spring is extremely steep and is often very slippery. The steep slope also channels rainwater into the spring during the rains. This rainwater carries fecal matter and garbage into the spring's water. Furthermore, the spring is always overcrowded, and women have to wait long hours to fill their containers.
Leaves and other things are seen floating around women and children who wade into the water to fill their containers. Many people in this village have diarrhea, which can be attributed to drinking water from Wamwaka Spring.
At the household level, most families have clotheslines, dish racks, and bathing rooms, but latrines are lacking. Those with functional latrines have the simple pit type with floors made of logs. This makes latrine floors hard to clean, thus attracting flies.
There were no compost pits for waste disposal. Instead, rubbish is either disposed of in the garden or behind the houses where dogs and chicken scramble for a snack.
Families spread their harvested maize on that same ground full of dirt, a practice that puts them at risk.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two 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.
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 latrines.
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
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.
In addition, 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.
The above interventions all help ensure that spring users have access to safe and adequate drinking water, along with sound sanitation facilities. They will help in the prevention of communicable diseases and waterborne diseases.