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 who live in Mtao Village have to work extra hard or there will be no food on their tables at the end of the day. Most adults work on their farms planting vegetables and cereals for their families, while the rest is taken to the local market to sell. Some others are 'boda boda' drivers who taxi people around on their motorbikes.
Tifina Odari Spring is the only permanent water point in Mtao Community. However, it is open to contamination from pollutants such as human and animal waste. Nonetheless, its water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigation purposes.
Women and children are the ones most often seen at Tifina Odari Spring with their plastic containers. Smaller containers can be dunked under the water until full, while a cup or jug needs to be brought to fill larger containers. During the busiest parts of the day, lines begin to form as people wait for the water to settle after another person finishes fetching.
We met Mr. Peter Kubai at the spring, who says that "people in this community suffer a lot from cholera and typhoid due to drinking contaminated water at the spring, and we will really appreciate if you help us protect it!"
Most of the households in Mtao Community have a shortage of sanitation facilities, especially latrines. Less than half of households even have a basic pit latrine! The ones we observed have dangerous log floors and no doors. Open defecation is a big issue here because of these poor conditions, with most people seeking the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves. Flies, animals, and rainwater then spread this waste around. No family in this area has a hand-washing facility while only a few have dish racks and clotheslines.
Mrs. Consolata Navonga said, "Most of the people in this area do not wash their hands after using latrines, and they go on to cook with the same dirty hands. Then later on their families start suffering from diarrhea! In addition to that, pit latrines are scarce in this area, thus many people do open defecate mostly at the spring area because it is bushy."
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 latrine floors.
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
Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water, which means the water will be safe, clean, and adequate.
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.