This project is part of Bridge Water Project's program in Western Kenya. What follows is direct from them:
The proposed Utende Community water project was drilled in the year 1985 by the Kenya Finland Western water supply programme (KFWWSP) with aim of enabling the Utende Community member’s access to quality water for their domestic use and also to improve sanitation and hygiene of the entire community. The well was drilled to a total depth of 40M cased by UPVC 4” inch casings, gravel packed and well pad constructed. Thereafter a NIRA pump was installed which served for long till it got spoiled to the point that the community did not manage to repair since spares are not locally available in Kenya.
Until recently when the community members heard of BWP development activities in regard of improving the existing water points in the region. Then they decided to make an application to BWP office requesting for rehabilitation of their community water point.
CURRENT WATER SOURCE
Utende community fetch water from Nyarchere stream located 800 metres away down in a steep and slippery valley, which poses many hazards for people who need to walk that valley numerous times a day. Water from the Nyarchere stream accords a turbidity value of 80, which is way below the WHO recommended parameters. The stream is not protected and during rainy season there is erosion run off, contaminating the water and making it dangerous for human consumption. Cases of diarrhea, amoeba, bilharzias etc have been recorded in the community by the Bungasi Health Centre Public Health Officer. The most prevalent water borne disease reported from Utende area is typhoid.
The community has 100 – 120 households with an average of 8 – 10 people per house a projected population of 800 – 1200 people.
(Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)
HYGIENE & SANITATION
At most every home has a kitchen with water storage containers, which are covered to ensure the water is well stored, outside kitchens there are dish racks, however there are no bathing stations in most homes as most people still bathe in the stream and thereafter, fetch water for home use. This puts the community at high risk for becoming sick with water borne diseases. No clotheslines were being used, as people still dry clothes by placing them on the ground or on top of roofs. This is also a health risk as there are many small farm animals around the home that can contaminate clothes that are dried on the ground.
Most homes were found to have pit latrines, which are smeared using cow dung, which works as an adherent to the clay structures that are built to make latrines, this allows for longer use of the clay structures while at the same time cow dung keeps jiggers at bay. Also, an added benefit and an excellent example of appropriate technology is the use of cow dung ash, which is used a disinfectant in the latrines as well.
Utende community members are the beneficiaries if the well will be rehabilitated.
ACCESSING THE NEED
There’s need to rehabilitate proposed Utende community water project so that the community members can access quality water for their domestic needs and also improve their sanitation and high standards, that if the water point is rehabilitated it will be big relief for young girls and women of Utende community who always have to climb a slippery and steep valley while carrying 20 litres jerricans on their heads. When such burden is lifted women rise up time wasted on fetching water will be used on fetching activities (IGA) hence uplifting the economy of the Utende community.
BWP will oversee the formation of water committee prior to the implementation of the rehabilitation works. Thereafter committee formed will be trained on sanitation and hygiene operations and maintenance of the pump to ensure sustainability.
Introduction and rational
In order to address the fundamental determinants of hygiene and sanitation at Utende community, BWP identified the need to prevent disease and promote health conditions associated with limited access to clean and safe quality water. To achieve this, BWP conducted community education on hygiene and sanitation. According to the organization, provision of hygiene and sanitation education was important in complementing the proposed rehabilitation of Utende community borehole.
The training was convened in a church near the proposed borehole site. 12 committee members, 7 men and 5 women attended the training. The training started with prayer and a brief introduction between the BWP team and the committee members. BWP facilitators stated the objectives of the training to community members. The objective of the training was to prevent disease and promote good health practices by targeting hygiene behaviors, sanitation practices, transmission and prevention of diarrheal and other waterborne diseases. The training also emphasized the need for sustainability of the project through community partnership, contribution and ownership.
Training materials included pictures of the F-diagram, pictures of blocking disease transmission by use of flip charts.
Disease transmission routes
Water and environmental sanitation play an essential role in the spread of many diarrheal diseases. These diseases are spread through person-to-person or fecal matter contact. Due to this fact, BWP used the ‘F’ – Diagram as a learning tool for the community members to know how those diseases are spread. The F-diagram shows the different transmission routes that fecal matter use to get to the human body.
The ‘F’s diagram represented good and bad hygiene practices in the community, for those who use soup for cleanliness and those of no soup. The posters used to reflect all the entries of diseases and how they get into human body, so the community members were required to show the routes how diseases get to the human bodies after having a general discussion, the community members were able to come up with all the routes. They all learnt that diarrheal could easily spread if good hygiene is not put into practice.
Identification of solution
Identification of solutions helps to identify all the possible barriers that can prevent the disease transmission routes. BWP introduced the Blocking posters to the Community members so that they would use them to block the disease transmission routes on the F- diagram. The posters represented that people should use soap when washing or cleaning hands. The community members went back to the F-diagram to block all the routes. Every route that showed a bad hygiene practice was covered by a good hygiene blocking posters.
Since Hand washing was one of the essential practices on the Blocking posters, the community members were educated by BWP in proper Hand washing through the guidance of the BWP facilitator. This exercise was important since most diseases causing agents get to our bodies through bad hygiene and sanitation practice.
During the blocking posters exercise, the community members also discussed water treatment. They came up with the diseases that came about as a result of consuming contaminated water. The diseases mentioned were typhoid, cholera, dysentery and diarrhea in children. This exercise was essential since cases of diarrhea and typhoid were very common in the community as found out during the baseline survey. The community members also discussed different methods of water treatment that included boiling, filtration, chlorination and the use of the life straw gadget. BWP facilitator helped them understand that treated water could only remain safe if it is well stored in clean and covered containers.
The flushing was done to ensure that the stagnant was flushed out to enable the recharge to take place.
After community education, BWP embarked on its second activity towards rehabilitation of Utende community borehole was pad construction. The masonry team from BWP embarked on the repair of the well pad. The masons did the final finishing with cement to ensure the borehole was adequately protected. Community members were involved in the entire process to assist where necessary and also to equip them with relevant skills on how to maintain the borehole. The pad was then left to cure awaiting pump installation.
The third activity towards rehabilitation of Utende community borehole was pump installation. The static water level of the borehole was 15 meters. The well was fitted with a new afridev pump at 55metres. 4” UPVC pipes each measuring 3 meters were used during the installation. 9 stainless steel rods each measuring 3 meters were also used. It was important to use stainless steel rods so as to prevent contamination rust. After installation, the pump was tested to ensure it was functioning properly. The entire process of pump installation was done with participation of community members in order to capacity build them.
Handing over of the borehole was the final activity in implementing rehabilitation of Utende community borehole. The handing over exercise created an important forum for BWP community to transfer ownership and sustainability of the borehole back to the community. BWP equipped community members with ownership and sustainability skills; key among them included participation by all target beneficiaries and general maintenance of the well. The chairman of the project stated that their next step of action was to fence the well area so as to prevent animals from getting to the well pad and causing water contamination and also for security purpose. In their speech, the Community through their Chairman thanked BWP and THE WATER PROJECT for ensuring that Utende community had access to clean and safe quality water.