This project is a part of our shared program with Bridge Water Project. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).
Like many communities in western Kenya, Ebumwende community is inhabited by farmers who grow sugarcane as their main cash crop, as well as maize, beans and vegetables. Most people from this community are Christians hence they congregate in the nearby Anglican Church.
As a result of the community’s sense of unity, the members have always learned to hold their hands together in times of need and more so in the activities that affect the community.
In a period of the past two years, the community through the help of their local leaders sorted to find solutions towards the scarcity of water in the community and the outbreak of waterborne diseases like diarrhea among the children and typhoid to the elderly.
A program was started in the community where every household contributed a certain amount, which was collectively put together through a local fundraiser/well wisher who facilitated the costs for drilling a borehole. This was objectively done to help relieve women from the burden of walking long distances in search of water.
After the well had been drilled, the community was unable to secure enough funding for the purchase of the hand pump. Since then, the community has continued to access water from far and contaminated sources.
We will facilitate all the required steps to make this well a sustainable resource for the community. It requires a thorough clean up which will be done by flushing so as to get out all the dirty water, allowing a fresh recharge. After flushing the well, construction of a new well pad will be done, and there after a pump will be installed. In addition to the actual well reconstruction, the community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene, among other activities.
To help this community have an access to clean water, the community members have called upon Bridge Water Project to assist in providing and installing a hand pump to the well. By installing the hand pump, the community will be able to draw water from the well hence reduced spread of waterborne diseases.
CURRENT WATER SOURCE
The community does not have a permanent water source since all the reliable sources are seasonal. At times, women of this community are forced to walk distances searching for water in the neighboring communities. This has led to the outbreak of diarrhea and typhoid diseases.
The community has an approximated number of 35 households each containing 5 to 8 people per household.
HYGIENE & SANITATION
At least every household has a usable latrine in place though not a super structure. None of the latrines are covered and this exposes the community to the contamination of food and water through the transmission of flies and feces.
Hand washing practices are not common, as most households have no hand washing stations in place. To make the situation worse, the community members were observed using water for washing hands, directly from the storage containers. This leads to recontamination.
Every house hold has a dish rack and cloth lines in place. A composite pit is also in place for dumping litter.
The community needs more knowledge on good hygiene and sanitation and BWP plans to train them on the proper practices using the PHAST methodology.
ASSESSING THE NEED
The community is in great need for water, which will be used for drinking, cooking, washing and watering of their domestic needs.
The project will be of great benefit to the community members.
With the help of the community’s local leadership, a strong water committee is to be formed. The water committee shall be in charge of all the operations and maintenance of the water project.
PHASE 1 HYGIENE AND SANITATION TRAINING
Hygiene and Sanitation training was the first step in implementing the Ebumwende Community Water Project. Bridge Water Project had to train the community members on proper Hygiene and Sanitation practices, which was facilitated in a member's home. The training was attended by mostly women. The women were taken through different activities that improve their Hygiene practices, prevent diarrheal diseases, and manage their well water and facilities.
The goal of this training was to make community members aware of the major causes of diseases, teach their prevention practices, and equip members with the proper tools to manage and maintain the well.
To kick off the training, members were asked to discuss their current domestic hygiene and sanitation practices. Although many had knowledge about hygiene and sanitation, most did not put this knowledge into practice, claiming it was a waste of time. The facilitator explained this was not the case through different activities:
A) Washing Hands
With the help of the facilitator, community members were able to mention the critical moments for hand-washing i.e. before and after eating, after handshakes, after handling garbage and waste, after using the bathroom and after manual labor. They learned the proper way to wash hands through a demonstration that included running water and soap.
B) Good and Bad Hygiene Practices Poster Discussion
Ignorance and bad attitudes contribute to the diarrhea outbreaks in Ebumwende community. Group members learned this through a chain of pictures that illustrated their daily behavioral activities.
C) Importance of Building and Using Latrines
Community members were urged to build latrines and then use them. The facilitator explained the importance of using latrines more and practicing open defecation less; that open defecation is actually the main cause of waterborne illnesses.
PHASE 2 WELL PAD CONSTRUCTION
Reconstruction of the well pad was the next activity; the construction team arrived at the site fully equipped. Cement work was done carefully to avoid any opening that will contaminate water. After the plastering, the well pad was left to cure for some days.
PHASE 3 PUMP INSTALLATION AND HANDING OVER
After the curing stage was done, the next activity was to flush the well so as to remove the stagnant water and make room for fresh, clean water. Then an Afridev pump was installed so the community could start getting access to the clean water. Thereafter, the well was handed over to the community.
Thank You for making all of this possible!