Handidi's community members wake up early in the morning, with women preparing breakfast for their families. Children get ready for school Monday thru Friday. Women then go to the spring to fetch water both for drinking and the day's chores.
Men look for casual labor; most end up making bricks or breaking huge rocks into smaller sizes for sale, while others endeavor motorcycle taxiing businesses commonly known as 'boda boda' to earn their livings. Some spend time on their small farms tilling, weeding or harvesting. The most popular crops are maize, beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, and groundnuts. These crops are normally consumed by locals, without any leftovers to sell. Other plots of land host sugarcane and tea; these crops can be sold for good profit, but are also very difficult to grow. Sugarcane takes about two years to be harvested. Tea is also very sensitive to weather changes, and is often lost during the rainy season that brings cold and hail. However, the community members still don't opt for easier vegetable crops instead. They believe that uprooting these tea plants grown by their ancestors is not good, as their spirits may hunt them or bring misfortune to their families.
Most here live below the poverty line, and cannot afford their basic needs or education for their children. Children often have to drop out of school to find work.
The land where Handidi sits is a bit ragged and rocky, making it difficult to reach.
One of the main water sources in Handidi is Kadasia Spring, with about 200 locals depending on it for all of their water needs. This includes drinking, cooking, cleaning, and watering uses.
Since this water source is not properly protected, it is open to contamination from many different source including human and animal activity as well as surface runoff that washes waste into the water.
Community members bring different sizes of containers to fetch water, ranging anywhere from 3 to 20 liters, depending on how much they can carry. There is a plastic pipe that has been fixed in the ground which funnels water out into these containers.
When delivered home, this water is poured into different containers in the living room, kitchen, and latrine. The water in the living room is kept in a clay pot that keeps it cool for drinking.
After drinking this water, community members suffer from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.
Sanitation facilities in this community are in poor condition, though most of the community members do not even have pit latrines. The most common pit latrines have logs for floors. These logs are prone to termites and rot, making them risky for users. Those who do not have pit latrines share with their neighbors, while others practice open defecation in bushes near their homes.
Hygiene practices in the community are also poor; most people do not wash their hands after visiting pit latrines. None of them have improvised hand-washing facilities. Bathing rooms are not common, with the most common bathrooms made of local or used materials, and others made of "live fence," where they plant a type of tree in a circular manner. Compounds are dirty, because refuse has been disposed of everywhere.
Clotheslines and dish racks are also not common in this community. Most of them sun dry their clothes and utensils on the ground, bushes, or roofs.
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. This community is particularly needy, with a dirty water source and poor living standards; living below a dollar a day, they have no money to get medical care for treating the diseases that affect them. This spring protection will help them stay healthy and not need that medical care! Pastor Daniel Mangara said, "I sincerely thank God for far he has brought us. We have been drinking this water thinking that it is clean, but results has not been that way. Each and every family, during raining season and dry season at least two people in a family go for medications. We are living with God's mercies."