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The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Pit Dug For Sanitation Platform
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Sanitation Platform Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Mixing Concrete
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Spring Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Cart Delivering Materials
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Strange Animal
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Excavation
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Doricus Mulunda
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Mr Shem Wafula
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Training
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Preparing A Meal
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Mud House Under Construction
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Inside Home
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Household
The Water Project: Matsakha A Community -  Lady Fetching Water At The Spring

Project Status

Project Type:  Protected Spring

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 210 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Mar 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/07/2018

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

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

Arriving in Matsakha, one is met by heavy trucks taking the sugarcane harvested from the farms to Butali Sugar Factory. Many people within this community are sugarcane farmers, and their days start as early as 5am with sugarcane cutting. Women wake up even earlier than the men to prepare breakfast for them before they leave.

The women start streaming to the spring by 6am to fetch water for the rest of the day’s cleaning and cooking. After preparing breakfast, women join their men on the sugarcane farms to cultivate and pick up the sugarcane behind the cutters. At the same time, children are seen carrying their school bags as they rush to school. Everyone starts arriving back home around 5pm. As they arrive, the women and children pick up their water containers and rush to the spring to fetch water for dinner and bathing. Young men are also seen on the path to the spring, taking their animals for watering.

Water Situation

Kombwa Spring is central to Matsakha Community, but its water is dirty. The community has been pulled along for years, with many politicians visiting and promising clean water if they’re elected. Traces of local materials collected and delivered to the spring site were seen during our own visit, revealing this history of unfulfilled promises.

The nearest clean water source is Matasha Mwanje Spring, which is about 1.5 kilometers away. But community members don’t always have that time, and must settle for the dirty water at home. This water is often used for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

Mr. Kefa Manyasa said, “Am telling the greatest problem we face in this comunity is accessing safe and clean water. We have really been affected, especially our children who have had repeated cases of waterborne diaseases outbreak such as typhoid and diarrhea. I personally spent 3,500 shillings last month treating my younger son Jihn, age four. We shall really be grateful if we can get a sponsor!”

Sanitation Situation

Half of households in Matsakha have pit latrines. Most are made from mud in the traditional way, which makes them difficult to clean. These are also impossible to use during heavy rains that makes the dirt floor slippery. Half of them are currently posing danger to their users, with unstable floors and pits that are almost full. A small handful of latrines have concrete sanitation platforms like the ones we install, which are safest to use and easiest to clean. But the other half of families don’t have access to a pit, and instead relieve themselves in the privacy of bushes. This waste is then spread around the community by flies, animals, and rainwater.

We saw a couple hand-washing stations during our visit to the community, but none of them had a cleaning agent like soap or ash. Though no hand-washing stations, many families have dish racks and clotheslines to help them safely dry belongings up off the ground.

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.

Project Updates

03/13/2018: Matsakha Community Project Complete

Kombwa Spring in Matsakha 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.

Project Result: New Knowledge

We worked through an already established leadership committee to plan hygiene and sanitation training; the same leadership recently elected by the community to manage Kombwa Spring. Committee members conferred with the entire community to pick the best time and place for training sessions. We ended up meeting outside at Kombwa Farm, where there was plenty of cool shade and comfortable grass.  There was a total of 16 participants already eagerly waiting for the trainers!

The field officer clearly communicated the areas of needed improvement for Matsakha, which included the following topics and more:

– Hand-washing and personal hygiene

– Handling water and food hygienically

– Safe waste disposal

– Water treatment

Construction at the spring had just finished, and so the entire group walked over there for hands-on demonstrations. They learned how to properly use, manage, and maintain Kombwa Spring. More importantly, they learned how to fetch, handle, and store clean water so as to ensure it’s still clean at the time of consumption.

Illustrations of daily activities around the community helped participants make connections; how can germs spread from one to the other? How do we build barriers between integral activities. For example, one should always wash their hands after using the latrine and before handling food.

“My name is Shem Wafula. I am the landowner of Kombwa Water Spring. I am very happy to have had this training. I am enlightened; water is life, and often people struggle to get access to it but what is equally important is to preserve and manage it well to make clean water accessible to every member of the community. In the past, we were ignorant on the routes of contamination but now am enlightened that washing hands with soap reduces the rate of diseases!”

Mr. Shem Wafula

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed. These five families are happy about this milestone of having a private latrine all their own, and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

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). A huge number of men and women showed up at the spring to learn about what local materials the artisan would need to supplement the concrete he brought! They were all so eager to see their area of Matsakha receive clean water. Accommodations and meals were provided for the artisan, and we asked a few people to volunteer their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

A cart dropping off stones for the workers to use.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polyethylene, wire mesh and concrete. During this hard work, the community stumbled upon a “strange animal.” Nobody was quite sure what it actually was:

While turtles are kept as pets in some countries, they’re not as well-known in Kenya!

After the base had been set, both wing walls and the headwall 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 polyethylene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination.

Many women from this community practically camped by the spring as the artisan put the finishing touches on his work. Doricus Mulunda, 38, was one of the women who unabashedly rejoiced at the sight of clean water pouring out of the discharge pipe. As soon as the water began to flow, Doricus ran toward the spring with her arms raised, singing and dancing that “God has given us water, so nothing is impossible!” Doricus and others held their hands under the water, and we were grateful to share that moment of celebration with them.

The Water Project : 26-kenya4856-clean-water

12/04/2017: Matsakha Community Project Underway

Matsakha Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Kombwa Spring, and often suffer from waterborne diseases. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report containing community information, pictures, and maps.

The Water Project : 1-kenya4856-lady-fetching-water-at-the-spring-2

Project Photos

Project Type

Protected Spring

In many communities, natural springs exist as water flows from cracks in rocky ground or the side of a hill.  Springs provide reliable water but that doesn’t mean safe. When left open they become contaminated by surface contamination, animal and human waste and rain runoff. The solution is to protect the source. First, you excavate around the exact source area of the spring. Then, you build a protective reservoir for water flow, which leads to a concrete spring box and collection area. Safe water typically flows year-round and there is very limited ongoing maintenance needed!


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