This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Welcome to the Community
Very few men can be found in the village during working hours. Many men leave their homes to go attend their businesses in the nearby town. Most are motorcycle drivers, taxiing customers from place to place. The women care for the farms and do other household chores. The majority of families have small farms coupled with small business enterprises, selling their surplus produce. Men and women also look for odd manual labor jobs to supplement their income.
This is a close-knit community, with each member looking out for the other. Theft and other crimes are kept at a minimum because of these peoples' unity.
Those living in Emakaka rely on Abdi Kagunza Spring for all of their water needs. The spring is named after the landowner, Abdi Kagunza himself.
This spring looks like a pond out in the middle of a grassy field. The steep edges of the spring get very muddy, falling off and further muddying the water. Since this source is unprotected, it is open to many different sources of contamination. There are even latrines constructed nearby, along with farms that use fertilizers and chemicals on their crops. The water is dirtiest after the rains that wash feces, chemicals, and other waste into the water.
Community members bring their 20-liter jerrycan and a smaller jug with which to fill them. This jug is continuously dunked under the water to fill the jerrycan. Once carried back home, water remains in the 20-liter jerrycan because families can't afford any other types of water storage. The water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and watering the small farms. This dirty water causes stomachaches and diarrhea, especially among the young children and elderly.
As Mr. Abdi Kagunza drew water from this spring, he told us "For a long time, this community has been drawing water from this unprotected spring that has been the cause of waterborne diseases. We are happy that soon, this spring will be protected. We shall do all it takes to make sure that we have the spring protected!"
Less than a quarter of households have their own pit latrine. This is because the majority of families are sharing with their neighbor. Because of the high number of people using each latrine, most of the community's latrines are full. Children are allowed to relieve themselves whenever and wherever they want.
There are no hand-washing stations here, and only a few helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Most garbage is thrown nearby gardens and farms so that it can decompose into fertilizer.
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. Community members are extremely excited for construction to begin; they all remember fetching water from Abdi Kagunza Spring since they were children.