Location: Kenya

Regional Program:
Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact:
500 Served

Project Phase:
Installed

Functionality Status:
Functional

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Stories and Community Profile

Andrea Kong’o Spring is one of many sources on which people from Shitaho Community rely. This water gathers in a pool that is open to contamination in many ways; rain washes feces, fertilizers, and garbage into the water. People and animals step in and out of the water, not to mention the animals that drink directly from the spring.

Outbreaks of typhoid and cholera run rampant through the community, draining people’s time, finances, and overall opportunity.

Protecting Andrea Kong’o Spring has been deemed necessary for the success of this community. Construction will protect the spring’s water from outside contaminants, providing local families with the clean water they need.

Welcome to the Community

A normal day begins early in the morning when students walk to school. Men and women do various chores and then proceed with the day’s activities. Members of Shitaho Community engage in small-scale farming. They plant maize, beans, vegetables and sugarcane. Apart from farming, the community members makes bricks and extract stones or hardcore used for construction.

What makes this community special is their high level of peace, love, and cooperation. The members love each other and keep the peace. There are many far away members who travel to the spring, and those members  bordering the spring have provided roads for the others. Students from the nearby university also stay in this community, and share homes with the locals. They’re fitting in just like they’re living in their real homes. They get water from the same spring, buy goods from the community members and engage in small business.

Water Situation

Women begin their day by going to the spring to fetch water for their families. Fetching water is an activity dominated by the women, observed holding their jerrycans as they line up at the spring. They return to their homes to continue with house chores such as sweeping the compound. Some women then join the men doing casual labour like fetching firewood to sell. Men here also fetch water, but mostly for commercial purposes.

A person must go very early in the morning or late in the evening to get water, because the more people fetching the water, the dirtier it becomes. People dunk their containers in the water to fill them, and others even step into the water. After filling their containers, women lift them high on their heads to begin the journey home.

When delivered home, water is separated into storage containers by use. The 100-liter plastic tanks are reserved for cooking and cleaning, and the clay pots are set aside for drinking in the living room. Locals say that the clay pots with covers keep the water cooler.

Sanitation Situation

The pit latrines here are not in good condition, for they are made of mud and wooden slats. They are difficult to clean and also to use; urine is splashed around the floor, predisposing users to hygiene-related diseases.  Fortunately, a majority of the community at least has this basic type of pit latrine. Nevertheless a handful of community members don’t have latrine access and must either share with their neighbor or use the privacy of bushes.

There were many other households that didn’t have basic tools like dish racks and clotheslines. We spoke to them about their importance, and they seemed willing to learn how to construct these helpful tools.

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.

Shitaho Community is home to thousands, so Andrea Kong’o Spring is one of a couple other water sources being protected this year.

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. Farmer Christopher Indakala told us, “We are so happy, and this is God’s doing. We have suffered for long and even politicians have kept promising to come to our rescue but in vain. We are very much ready to coordinate and collaborate with you to see our spring protected so that we can have safe and enough drinking water.”


Project Photos


Recent Project Updates


05/09/2017: Shitaho Community A Project Complete

Andrea Kong’o Spring in Shitaho, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to check them out! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held in Shitaho Village under the trees just next to the spring. It was thought wise that the training be done there so everyone could understand and have a clear view of different parts of the protected spring. This was easy and effective for each participant to fully participate and be involved in the management of the spring for sustainability.

The training was comprised of men, women, youth and children of all different ages. Attendance was good with the total participants at 32, of whom nine were male and 23 were female. The high attendance of women is because they are the ones most responsible for housework and fetching water. The few men who were present were asked to share the information received with the rest who did not make it to training. The sessions were very interactive and most participants were eager to learn.

1 kenya4709 training

Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. We also took a session to emphasize proper maintenance of the spring protection project. The community should refrain from washing clothes, water animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

3 kenya4709 training

By the end of the two days, participants formed a water and sanitation committee to oversee and maintain the spring protection. Other participants were equipped with the knowledge to become community health workers. These workers will be responsible for sharing what they learned with the rest of their community by making door-to-door visits. They will continue to keep their neighbors accountable so that the entire community can experience improved health.

8 kenya4709 training

Many families have already constructed dish racks, pit latrines, bathrooms, clotheslines, and compost pits. Other women have started kitchen gardens, and others have adopted family planning methods.

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. We will continue to encourage these five families to build walls and roofs to protect their new platforms.

Project Result: Spring Protection

The community prepared for construction by gathering the local materials and delivering them to the spring. These included ballast, hardcore, sand, and bricks. Some of the women even prepared meals for our artisan.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Our artisan arrived to direct the excavation of the spring area to create a level ground for setting and casting the foundation slab. This foundation is built using wire mesh, concrete and waterproof cement. During this process, the spring water is diverted to flow to the sides to avoid interference with cement work.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

After the foundation has settled, the brick work for both wing walls and the head wall are done. These walls trap head waters and direct them towards the collection source. This builds enough pressure to raise the water to the discharge pipe fitted in the wall. As the bricks dry, staircases are made using concrete and bricks, and the basement foundation walls are constructed using hardcore, cement and sand. Tiles are then fitted on the spring floor to provide erosion resistance from the discharge pipe’s water. The brick is then plastered to finish both sides and further reinforce them against pressure.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The collection source is then excavated and cleaned to remove any mud, and is redirected. The area behind the wall is then packed with hardcore that acts as a filter, and then covered with a polythene membrane to stop any external contamination. Finally, trenches are dug to direct sources of contamination away from the spring.

20 kenya4709 construction

When community members saw their protected spring, they decided to plan for a special day of celebration. There at the spring they sang, danced, and ate to celebrate clean water.

Farmer Christopher Indakala told us “I am much honored and humbled to the organization which enabled us to get clean water for our livelihood through the project. We have been taking dirty water for so long, but God has answered our prayer by bringing you to come and build for us this spring. Our children and family members have been suffering from waterborne diseases which has been expensive to treat because of our low income. The money that has been used to seek medication will now be converted to do agriculture which is the backbone of our living.”


The Water Project : 27-kenya4709-protected-spring


03/16/2017: Shitaho Community A Project Underway

We are excited to share that work in Shitaho Community has begun. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Andrea Kong’o Spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report containing community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates. Check out the tabs above to read more about this project!

The Water Project and Shitaho Community Thank You for giving the hope of clean water and good health.


The Water Project : 7-kenya4709-fetching-water


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Shitaho
ProjectID: 4709
Install Date:  05/09/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project




Contributors

Union Presbyterian Church
Nicholas Christos III
Steven & Carisa Jones Family Fund
Allahs Servants
2 individual donor(s)


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Country Details

Kenya

Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.