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
The people from Lutari Village wake up very early in the morning to work on their farms and prepare their children to go to school. The community living around the spring keeps dairy cattle, grows maize, sugarcane, ground nuts, bananas and various vegetables. In addition to that, the men normally undertake sand harvesting and excavation of stones to sell to construction companies. Some members of the community are involved in making bricks, too. There are many construction projects going on in the area, and so the market is ready for these materials.
The community is special because through these economic activities, the people are able to educate their children and provide for their family's needs. The members of the community usually go to the county market every Wednesday and Saturdays to trade their commodities.
There are 280 different people who rely on Protus Spring for drinking, cooking, watering, and cleaning water. The spring never dries up, even during the driest of seasons. However, it pools in the same area and is open to contamination from surface runoff, animal and human activities, and erosion. The water is particularly dirty during the rainy seasons, since the rain washes feces, fertilizers, and other waste into the spring.
After this water is consumed, community members suffer from typhoid, diarrhea, and amoebic illnesses. Because of improper drainage around Protus Spring, malaria is also a common health challenge.
Over half of households have their own pit latrine, most of which are made of dirt floors and mud or iron walls. If a family doesn't have their own latrine, they will share with a neighbor or find the privacy of bushes.
There are no hand-washing stations in Lutari, and less than half of the 40 households have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines.
The spring's landowner, Mr. Protus Burudi, gave us a tour when we visited his community. "Getting clean water for the community has been difficult, and at least God has remembered us now. The whole idea of protecting this spring will solve the water problems. Moreover, the sanitation facilities and health promotion campaign through trainings will enable, enlighten and capacity-build the community to take matters related to community health as a priority and with much seriousness," he commented.
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. One of the most important topics we plan to cover is open defecation and its dangers, as well as having and using a pit latrine.
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. The fence will keep out destructive animals, and the drainage will keep the area's mosquito population at a minimum.
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.