May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Visiru Community, Kitinga 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.
Facilitators offer to sanitize participants' hands before passing out materials at training
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 Visiru, Kenya.
A woman reads through an informational pamphlet on COVID-19
We trained more than 20 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.
Trainer Erick demonstrates how a leaky tin handwashing station works
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.
Trainer Erick explains the importance of using soap and clean water for 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.
Trainers use a prevention reminders chart at training
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.
Trainer Erick and community members install a new leaky tin handwashing station at the spring
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.
Installing the sign at the spring while demonstrating social distancing
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.
Social distancing adhered to during training
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.
July, 2017: Visiru Community Project Complete
Kitinga Spring in Visiru Community, 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, want to do a bit more? 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 at Mr. John Ovita's home, who is the chairman of the newly-established water user committee which will oversee and maintain the protected spring. All of the spring users were invited to attend the two days of training.
Both young and old united to learn, presenting the issues affecting their community to the trainer and seeking advice.
Community members were given notebooks and pens to record the great hygiene and sanitation advice shared during 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.
The trainer demonstrates how to use the power of the sun to purify water.
Mrs. Susan Avukusu felt empowered after all of the new things she learned. She hadn't even been aware that when drinking contaminated water from the spring, she was risking her life. "I am so grateful to our donors for this perfect initiative. Most of us in the community were never acquainted with most of the information we have received today. From today, health and sanitation will be a priority in our homes and I hope cases to do with waterborne diseases will never affect the community."
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.
Mrs. Mwinamo shows her son the new sanitation platform they received.
Project Result: Spring Protection
Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). Accommodation and food for the artisan were provided and a few people volunteered their services as laborers.
As some men in the community have regular work during the day, women often step up to help our artisans finish a project.
The area of the spring was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polythene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the head wall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.
The artisan leads the way in excavating the ground at the spring to create a level foundation.
As the wing walls and head wall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the head wall 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. Lastly, the base of the spring was plastered and the collection box was cleaned. The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, grass was planted and cutoff drains dug to direct surface water away from the spring box.
Tiles are fixed below the pipes to prevent erosion.
Mr. Aston Misigo witnessed the transformation. "We are so blessed as a community. God has answered our prayers too soon. We have been risking our lives by drawing water from our unprotected spring. But with its implementation, with the aid of our donors, we shall be able to access clean and safe water. We will live to protect it at all times!" He and his neighbors gathered at the finished spring to collect their first of many containers of clean, safe water.