July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Murumba Community, Muyokani 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.
Trainer Shigali reviews the prevention reminders chart
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 Murumba, Kenya.
We trained more than 18 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 Betty issues COVID-19 informational pamphlets
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homemade mask tutorial
Community member Josephat Muyokani thanked facilitators for elaborating on the signs of Coronavirus. He was not even aware that some of the symptoms of Covid-19 are loss of the senses of smell and taste, he said. He also was not aware that one is not expected to go to a health facility to seek treatment by themselves, but instead, they should dial a toll-free number so that a government ambulance with a Covid-19 response team comes to pick them. He confirmed that the training was so enlightening and beneficial to him and all other participants.
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.
A complete mask made at 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: Murumba Community Project Complete
Muyokani Spring in Murumba 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 under a tree at Mr. Mukabane's house. This was a convenient place to meet since Mr. Mukabane lives closest to the spring. His wife Carolyne was very active in gathering all of the spring users together to attend training.
A total of 13 adults and three children attended, with more women than men because women are seen as those most responsible for water and cleanliness in their homes. Also, men leave the village early in the morning for work and don't come back until the evening. The women actively shared their opinions and helped each other understand each topic. At some points, they assisted the older ladies by translating the training into the local dialect.
These women form the water and sanitation committee that will head up the management and maintenance of Muyokani Spring.
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, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.
We brought poster paper and illustrations that facilitated discussion on healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Group discussions were also very effective in helping participants take responsibility for what they were learning. And since we were so close to the spring, we could take the group over there to do onsite training in management and maintenance.
The spring artisan explains how construction protects drinking water.
The women of Murumba Community were particularly surprised on how long they had been ignorant about simple water, sanitation and hygiene facts. They acknowledged they had been doing things the wrong way, and were grateful for this new knowledge that is already helping them change for the better.
Mrs. Carolyne Mukabane said, "I have come to realize that there are little things that we often ignore, yet they mean a lot and cost us too much: the way we wash our hands hurriedly without considering some parts, storing drinking water for weeks and sometimes months - the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices among others... I will ensure my neighbours who may not be here adhere to proper hygiene practices. Cleanliness is from today going to be my new philosophy!"
Women take turns practicing the ten steps of hand-washing they learned.
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
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. Their help here does not go unnoticed; community members stepped up and completed tasks even without the supervision of our office staff. Even the young children helped with the project when they got out of school.
A woman carries bricks to help the artisan build the catchment walls.
The spring area 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.
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.
Just a day after construction came to a close, two more households joined the bandwagon of those who want to be part of Muyokani's clean and safe water users. The village elder was optimistic that the water users and the entire community will take good care of the protected spring, and he asked the organization to protect more springs in the area.
"I am so glad that our families, more so women and children, will from today have easy access to clean drinking water. The spring is so well done that I am thinking even men will overcome our taboos of not going to the spring to carry water... Very soon when you come around again, you will probably meet them drawing water from here because it is decent and fast! Getting clean water in a 20-liter jerrycan in just 38 seconds is not something we as a community can just ignore. We will work with the water and sanitation management committee and community health workers to ensure the water point is properly taken care of. I am also a sanitation platform beneficiary and it looks amazing," said Mr. Jafred Muyera.