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
People in Tsivaka Village are usually up by 5 AM because they prefer to get work done before the sun gets too hot. A family's morning schedule entails milking the cows and preparing breakfast, after which the man heads to the nearest shopping center to deliver milk that's sold throughout the day. The man will head back to the market in the evening to collect his profits. He spends the brunt of the day looking for casual labor jobs that will make ends meet. One of these jobs is brick-making, causing many men to join the women and children in fetching water from their local spring to use for mixing up the bricks.
The woman remains behind to prepare the children for school, clean up the compound and do other household chores. She heads out to the farm until she needs to return home to prepare lunch for the entire family, even the children who return from school for a break. She then returns to the farm until 4 PM for dinner preparation. The family retires to bed at around 7:30 PM after the children have completed their homework. Children don't work much later so as to save on the paraffin they must use for lighting.
Wefwafwa Spring is the main water source for Tsivaka. It currently serves 60 households, many who live quite a distance away. These distant households come to Tsivaka to get their water because all of their own water sources have dried up. This water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, brick-making, and irrigation.
Community members fixed a pipe in the eye of the spring so that they can hold their containers underneath until full. It's nearly impossible to do this without stepping in the water pooled below. Water is then delivered home and poured between containers in the kitchen, living room, and latrine. The water in the living room is stored in covered clay pots and is intended for drinking, because it's believed to stay as cool as a refrigerator!
After consuming water from Wefwafwa Spring, community members report waterborne sicknesses such as typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea.
Under half of households have their own pit latrine. Those we visited are in a very poor state; some are collapsing, and others lack doors. Because of these low numbers and poor conditions, many community members opt to seek the privacy of plantations or brush to relieve themselves.
There are no hand-washing stations, and only a few helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Mr. Geoffrey Liwa lives in this community and pastors a local church. He said, "The sanitation state in this community is so poor, much needs to be done in terms of health training in order to help our people. Most households do not have proper toilets, other do not have at all. This has been a health risk to all of us over the years, because when it rain it's obvious all that water is drained to our water sources, and since it is a dry season we do not have an alternative water source for example rainwater. The health of the children is not good either, water-related diseases affect them most, we also have jiggers and other nutrition-related diseases like Kwashiorkor and Marasmus."
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.